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#Holness100: PM would make Spanish second language, not official

Published:Tuesday | June 21, 2016 | 6:40 AM
Holness says he is more concerned about getting a high percentage of Jamaicans to speak Spanish rather than making the language official.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has sought to clarify a statement he made earlier this month that Jamaica needs to make Spanish its official second language.

Holness made the statement in Parliament and has since triggered national debate as persons have called for Jamaica to place more focus on perfecting the use of English instead of adding Spanish as an official language.

However, answering a user-generated question on The Gleaner's myReport platform Holness said it isn't necessary for Jamaica to be like Canada that has English and French as its official languages.

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

Holness said he is more concerned about getting a high percentage of Jamaicans to speak Spanish rather than making the language official.

He noted that Jamaica is part of Latin America and the Caribbean, which has a large Spanish-speaking population.

Holness says there are many economic opportunities that Jamaicans could get if they spoke the language fluently.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Holness also says he agrees that Jamaica should place greater focus on improving English and the Jamaican patois.

However, he says adding another language, such as Spanish, would be an advantage as it would make the country multilingual. 

Holness was answering a question that was asked by a member of the public as part of a Gleaner Special to mark his first 100 days in office.

The interview can be seen today on Jamaica-gleaner.com/myreport.