In the history of humanity, language codification in written form goes back to the early days of civilization when the first writing system was invented in Mesopotamia. At about the same time, the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Chinese ideograms represented advanced systems of written communication. Then came the invention by the Phenicians of the first alphabet.

From the parchment to the printed book: the first knowledge revolution that started the slow but steady process of democratization of knowledge and information is attributed to Gutenberg’s invention of printing. But well before Gutenberg, the first printed book appeared in China around 1390.

From the printed to the eletronic medium: the latest knowledge revolution has abolished the barriers of time and space, making information and communication immediately accessible in real time anywhere, any time.

From the first printing machine in 18thC Mauritius to desktop publishing: several millennia of language and technological evolution have been compressed in three centuries, the time it took for the Mauritian Creole language (MCL) to free itself from the shackles of history and become the most popular SMS and internet medium. A product of language contact, innovation and creativity in extreme human and social conditions, MCL evolved rapidly to become within such a short time the first language par excellence of the Mauritian linguistic community. Independence and the need for national symbols gave a new destiny to MCL as the language of national unity and the marker of our distinctiveness. Ever since, the task of codification and standardization of MCL has been on our agenda. The work accomplished through individual and group initiatives has already taken the language quite a long way on the road towards formal recognition. It represents a considerable achievement which must be duly acknowledged


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