Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
Saru

Many languages in danger of dying out

23 posts in this topic

It is thought that by the year 2100 we will have lost half the languages that are in use today.

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.

arrow3.gifRead more...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know 4 different languages. :3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well they can't exist forever can they

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mah dichdag tlhap dung soh ll'be' P'tok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Endangered Language Project will be happy to learn that the Pope just gave his resignation speech in Latin. Whew! Saved another one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This does not surprise me. Eventually, the only language that will exist will be "English".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And this is how they will never die out:

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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21427896

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having languages stored away somewhere in databases is not a bad idea, but it is not the same as having living speakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously of all the things worth saving, languages are not it. Consider English. Even half a century ago English speakers spoke differently. Such as the word "gay". Do we realy care about preserving English from 1960? Do I really care what a Brazilian native calls a type of fish or an Aboriginal word for a small frog? Nope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously of all the things worth saving, languages are not it. Consider English. Even half a century ago English speakers spoke differently. Such as the word "gay". Do we realy care about preserving English from 1960? Do I really care what a Brazilian native calls a type of fish or an Aboriginal word for a small frog? Nope.

Let's face it: languages are an important part of cultural diversity of humanity, and some peoples in the world are interested in not having to forcefully learn another language in the name of conformity by a host country. The immense beauty and linguistic arts of each endangered language should be taken seriously, because some cultures will disappear if their original native languages have. What if English was forcibly replaced by another language and nothing left was preserved, then you would feel threatened and your culture will no longer exist.

The Cherokee Nation Anthem of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized tribe of the western band of Cherokee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsjERH7GHRk

Wish I knew more of the Cherokee Language, but I knew the self-name of the Cherokee is "Au-ni-wa-yv-i-na Tsa-La-Gie".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Communication in the world doesn't improve with less languages, but deteriorates. It's true that there's language barriers, but the less languages you have, the less ways you have to express things in words. Each language has it's own concept of things, you notice this in more than just different structures... it's the cultures they stem from that bring those concepts to languages, and if you lose the language, you lose the way to communicate that concept in it's original meaning. It may be hard to understand if you've spoken only one language your entire life, but it's all there.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that not many people care, but I deeply regret the loss of the Swedish dialect my grandparents spoke. I only know a few words. While the prior generations lived, the language was alive. Now that they are gone, even their dialect has passed as it is no longer spoken in Sweden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I had learned Saxon from my grandparents when I had the chance :unsure2:

But ever since Communism ruined Transylvania, and my people were scattered, their dialect of 'Saxon' is quickly being lost. I know a few words but I wish i was fluent. :cry:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you pardon the pun, there is much to said in defense of a common language. But, there is a tremendous amount of uniquely and wonderfully evolved terminology that embraces an entire culture in the context of a native language. That it is an art, it needs to be recognized and preserved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an insoluble problem. We can and are saving vocabulary lists and grammatical rules and even where possible oral histories and literatures. This is all great and future historians and anthropologists will be grateful. Still, the language is lost, even with all that.

The point of a language is to be fluent in it -- so fluent that you do not need to translate what you want to say from another language, and that you have all the little subtleties and minute differences in meaning as you move from language to language. These things cannot be preserved when the last native speakers are gone.

Is this a loss? It is an immense loss -- the loss of a whole way of organizing a human brain; of thinking and of looking at the world.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

over a few hundreds years we all ll be speaking the same language , telepathic :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.