PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports ECYS Silveria Jacobs on Wednesday expressed her support for the recognition of St. Maarten English – which she spelled as “S’maatin” English.
“I believe that recognising S’maatin English as our local language and not necessarily establishing it as our official language is a point of focus which because it already exists is just a matter of recognising it and safeguarding it culturally.” She said this would be a key cornerstone to the country building a resilient nation.
Activities to realise this would include encouraging researchers to delve deeper into the subject matter; teaching of phrases and traditional sayings; creating special awareness programmes on the value of the language and encouraging the language to be spoken on national holidays such as Emancipation Day and St. Maarten Day.
She said the latter should be done without persons who speak the local English from being laughed, frowned at or ridiculed by others such as by family members or strangers who may think the person is just speaking “bad English… St. Maarten’s English definitely needs to be recognised.”
She alluded to Curaçao, where she says every businessperson, irrespective of where they come from, speak Papiamentu.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/62300-jacobs-supports-recognition-of-local-s-maatin-english