KANGAR, The diversity of accents or dialects plays a crucial role as a medium of communication, contributing to the unity and harmony of the local population.

National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said that mastery of accents reflects the reality and the true state of a community while influencing a community’s perception of identity in nation-building.

“…language ties allow people to interact and this plays a role in preserving the identity and cultural uniqueness of the nation,” he said at the Bicara Bahasa Kolokial: Melestarikan Keberdayaan Bahasa Komuniti ‘Gebang Loghat Utagha’ programme here today.

His speech text was read out by National Unity Ministry senior undersecretary (Management) Norihan Mohamed Naim, who officiated the programme on behalf of the minister today.

Aaron Ago said many, especially young people, do not take seriously the use of accents or dialects when socialising or communicating because they are influenced by social media and modernisation in today’s borderless world.

When language mastery, accent and dialect grow weaker, community identity and nation-building efforts will also be affected, he said.

“As a result, the language, accent and dialect are not passed down and can lead to their decline and extinction,” he said.

He said the programme today aims to highlight the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the daily spoken language in the northern states of Perlis, Kedah and Penang, besides documenting it for reference purposes.

He also noted that the Siamese (Thailand) language or dialect has a lot of influence on the speech intonations of the Perlis community, making the local dialect sound more melodious due to its polite and gentle nature.

Meanwhile, Aaron Ago said the efforts of the National Archives of Malaysia to document colloquial language (spoken language) should be carried out continuously to ensure that the country’s heritage remains a source of reference for generations to come.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency