"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." - Albert Einstein
Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:04 AM
It is thought that by the year 2100 we will have lost half the languages that are in use today.
Smithsonian Magazine said:
Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct. This occurs through official language policies or through the allure that the high prestige of speaking an imperial language can bring.
More people need to realize the importance of languages means alot to cultures' integrity, because a lost small culture is a great loss. The Cherokee Language (for example) based in Northeastern OK spoken by the Native American group is in a dormant stage: it has a 85-letter syllabary alphabet invented by a scholar Sequoyah in the 1820s promoted literacy in his tribe and today, 10-20,000 people are thought to know the Cherokee language with 100,000 more have some familiarity. I know a few Cherokee words due to my grandfather is of Cherokee and Osage descent from a town located north of Tulsa, but he passed away 5 years ago and thankfully, a bit of the heritage did not die out with him.
Edited by Tsa-La-Gie Oyate, 11 February 2013 - 11:23 AM.
"The mind of a child is where the revolution begins" - Immortal Technique
Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:19 PM
English will eventually be the only language. It won't be the same as it is today, just like it's not the same as it was in Shakespeare's time, but it'll still be considered English. It's widespread through many prominent countries. A majority of the worlds biggest companies are in English speaking countries. Those are the two main reasons I think English will become the language of the world.
"The place where optimism flourishes the most is the insane asylum."
Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:26 PM
I would have to think that English will become a mixture of English and Chinese, similar to Blade Runner and Firefly. Spanish will be in there are well.
While it's kind of a shame to"lose" a language, having only one language will make things a whole lot easier.
Where does one get certified as an "Ancient Astronaut Theorist" or "Cryptozoologist"?
Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:32 PM
It is sad though. I only know English (accept very, very little Afrikaans). What I never realized is that along with the obvious differences in language is the ideas and emotions that cannot be translated very well into English. My wife, who is from South Africa, tells me of a story where she was at a party and someone came up to here and told her a joke in Afrikaans that absolutely killed her. Translated it made little sense. A language is more than just strange sounding words and funny characters. The French seem to be one of the only countries to recognize that (even though they are very draconian about it).
This does not surprise me. Eventually, the only language that will exist will be "English".
I have made a huge investment in studying English, so one would think I would like that idea, but I certainly hope you are wrong.
I would like to see an international language policy where everyone leans English starting in grade school, along with their native tongue. Then to get a college degree one would need a couple more languages.
In places where English is already the native tongue, a second language widely spoken in that country would be taught in grade school. In most of the United States, for example, that would be Spanish. English-dominant countries are falling behind the rest of the world in language instruction, I think mainly because young English speakers have no particular reason, other than academic enforcement, to learn another language, and they get no help from popular culture. In the end this will be to their cost. (I already find I have a huge advantage in doing business, say, in Japan, than my English-only competitors, and my Japanese is nowhere to the level of my English).
Another thing -- where possible languages from different language families should be taught. I made the mistake when I was young of studying French and Latin, thinking they were basic to understanding English. (And French/Latin culture was still important in Vietnam). Since I have studied Chinese and Japanese, and this was a major eye-opener. It wasn't that Vietnamese alone was way out there, but it and Chinese and Japanese are as different from each other and from Indo-European languages as one can imagine. I realized there are many, many ways a language can be structured, and these different structures have major effects. The Indo-European languages are all important, but at least one language outside that family should be studied.
Ancient languages reconstructed by computer program
A new tool has been developed that can reconstruct long-dead languages.
Researchers have created software that can rebuild protolanguages - the ancient tongues from which our modern languages evolved.
To test the system, the team took 637 languages currently spoken in Asia and the Pacific and recreated the early language from which they descended.
I see no reason why we should care if the lesser used languages fade out of existence.
Communication worldwide would actually improve if we had fewer language barriers.
With that said, i would hope that someone is at least writing down something that would allow future generations the opportunity to translate anything they may come across that no one can read.
Some sort of Rosetta stone if you will.
As long as you can translate it if needed, i cant see how fewer languages is anything but a good thing.
The problem of people from all over communicating is dealt with by have a lingua-franca (i.e., English) that everyone speaks. It is not necessary for other languages to become extinct.
There are things about knowing several languages that it is hard to explain to the monolingual. There are ways of turning a phrase, forms of humor, rhyming and rhythm patterns, and things that can be said simply in one language that take verbose circumlocution to express in another.
Also, words do not exactly translate. The boundaries of words differ, allowing metaphorical thinking that differs and literatures that reflect these differences in ways that go beyond subtle.
Obviously we cannot save every beautiful building that has ever been built, but perhaps we can save a few photos and other records of it. The same applies to languages and the cultures they reflect. It is also likely that in the future such information will be of great value in historical and psychological research.