Preserving Minority Languages Essay

1806 words - 7 pages

Language has been used as a means of communication among society members as time began. Each and every community has its own unique language, which is used to convey a certain message from the sender to the recipient. For a language to be appreciated as a means of communication among society members, it should be clear, simple to use and understandable among the users. There are approximately six thousand different languages, which are used in the whole world. Such languages are unique and distinct from each. Yagmur (2009) supports that; a language acts as a reflection or like a mirror of the society from which it originates. For instance, a language may portray the culture and origin of a certain community.
Due to current globalization effects, language integration has constantly been taking place. This has made some languages be adopted as the major communication tools. For example, English and French languages are now being used as the major languages of communication. People who are not conversant with these languages are being termed as society laggards who do not appreciate changes. This has received some support from Jiang (2007) who adds that; this language integration has caused some languages to be marginalized. Such languages that are considered to be minor are usually spoken or used by communities, which are minority and marginalized within the society. Various debates on whether to preserve these marginalized languages have arisen over the past decades. These minority’s languages accrue various society elements like culture, religion, beliefs, behaviors and practices. These languages are like an archeological site that should be preserved. As a result, marginalized languages should be preserved because they carry with them unique aspects and ideas, which are unique from other languages.
In the current world, among the six thousand used languages, approximately fifty percent of these languages are considered to be dying while forty percent are endangered. LaPonce (2004) insists that, only ten percent can be termed to comprise the safe languages in use.
One of the key elements, which have led to the marginalization of some languages, is globalization. In these modern days, people from different geographical regions interact highly with each other. This is supported by Ushioda (2006), who acknowledges that, free trading among nations has led to adoption of a common language among traders in order to enhance communication. Apart from trading, formal education had highly contributed to the adoption of a common language. Currently, students from various nations all over the world share common education systems. For instance, the colonizers who invaded majority of these nations led the extensive use of English by a majority of nations in the world. The natives had to adopt the English language in order to benefit from the colonizers in one-way or another. This has strengthened some native languages, thus, rendering them to be...

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