About Mother Tongue Publishing Inc.
September 19, 2006
Mother Tongue Publishing Inc. (MTPI) is a new publishing company based in Manila, Philippines. It was founded in 2006 by Mario and Beaulah Taguiwalo. Their purpose is to publish books in as many languages and dialects as possible – especially the rarely published languages that children in different parts of the world first hear and speak soon after they are born.
The inspiration for MTPI are the words of science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin: “Literature takes shape and life in the body, in the wombs of the mother tongue.” As neuro-scientist Elkhonon Goldberg puts it, mother tongues are an “an extremely adaptive and powerful device for modeling not only what is, but also what will be, what could be, and what we want and do not want to be.”
The founders want to help realize these great expectations by making more published materials available, not only to Filipino children in their mother tongue but to children all over the world so that they may learn reading and writing in the first language that they hear, speak, and are immersed in from birth.
As for their native country, the Philippines, MTPI’s founders have a special mission. They point out that while they themselves communicate to others in English, they were born and raised like most Filipinos in homes and communities where more than 170 distinct living languages are spoken, including the most widely spoken regional languages. They believe that these Philippine mother tongues are the key instruments of each Filipino child for first knowing, understanding, and learning about the world.
By making more books available in as many Philippine languages as possible, the founders hope that more Filipinos will become even more literate in their mother tongue, more adept at mastering other languages and cultures, and better equipped to engage with an increasingly globalized world.
Mother Tongue at ABS-CBN Interactive