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Saving Endangered Languages Essay

682 words - 3 pages

Rita Brown spoke words of knowledge when saying, “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people came from and where they are going.” On average, there are some 6000 languages spoken in the world today, but some 500-1000 of those are only spoken by a select group of people and are considered endangered. At a rate of 25 mother tongues being lost per year, this alarmed many governments that have decided to take a stand again this grave loss for the world ("Are Dying Languages worth Saving?"). Even though the popular belief is that it is not important to continue to learn endangered languages because it causes a barrier between people, societies around the world should work to preserve endangered languages because without the ability to translate a language, we lose the ability for later generations to study their history and language is the culture of a country or group of people and should continue to be kept alive.
History is an important part of the ...view middle of the document...

The number of books, articles, and magazines have declined, which only contributes to the popularity of other languages.” In a situation like the Syriac language, there are a limited amount of translators if we were to find a biblical artifact, and if the language becomes extinct, the translations recorded in books could lead to a misinterpretation.
A society’s language is wrapped in their culture. Their stories, history, songs, and customs are all embedded within their language. Without a way to understand their language, we lose the ability to know all these things that have made a group of people. Kuopio John from Finland commented on a BBC News story over the subject saying, “Language isn't just a collection of words, interchangeable from language to language. Rather, language carries within it the structure of thought.” We lose the ability to study and record what they believed in. With most endangered languages being indigenous, they have come to rely on the land, animals, and plants, knowing more than most scientists, and the majority of this information has never been recorded by scientist (Anderson et al.). The loss of this knowledge that a community has gained over centuries of adapting and learning would be a loss to all mankind.
Overall, saving endangered languages is a worldwide problem that we should work together to stop. Losing languages is losing the heritage of so many individuals whose identity should be preserved for year to come. While people may comment that it creates a barrier between nations, translations will never do their culture justice, and it is unjust to allow an entire community to surcome to the primary language of the world. For those that have never learned a second language, it is hard to understand how it may effect individuals, but take a step back to attempt to understand if the words that you grew up knowing, the words that pieced together the stories you heard as a child, where you have come, where your family has been, and the words that makes you and your community a network where to suddenly become extinct. Pieces of generations of knowledge, stories, and culture would be lost and holes would be formed. Government should work to maintain the variety of languages we have, in attempt to stop the dying out of minority languages.

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