Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Language Extinction

There are hundred of languages spoken around the world. People use language a tool for communication. Language is the medium of thinking. Man is nothing more than his words. He or she is usually the product of the language of the age. The importance of language cannot be underestimated. Even great religions were revealed in languages understandable by humans.

Unfortunately, languages are facing a decline. According to an MIT research languages have reduced from 6000 to 600 in the past 90 years. A language dies every 14 days. Mammoth  amount of human knowledge and wisdom is disappearing with language extinction. Thousands of year of human experience which is treasured by native languages in lost in translation. Translations don't substitute real, they only facilitate in understanding the major thought of a work.

Languages are dying at an unprecedented rate

Two reasons for language extinction given by MIT research are:
1) The Globalization of English language.
Today English is used as a language of trade, education, distant learning, capitalist economy and a medium of east exchange of idea between people of different communities. These factors have given English an edge over other languages, and subsequently reduced the importance of other regional languages of the country. For example, the Zulu language is not spoken anywhere in the world, no new literature is being produced in Baloch language, etc.
2) English has become a language of science.
Most of scientific research material is found in English language. According to Fareed Zakaria's book there are 80 million English webpages on the internet. most of the scientific journals (e.g. Nature, Scientific America) are in English language. Researcher from French and German speaking countries have to translate their text before it could reach an international audience.

Languages are a treasure which we should preserve for ourselves and the future generation!

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