Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3

Last Name Goes Here 1 The Place of Endangered Languages in a Global Society According to linguists, the number of languages

may decrease from 7000 spoken nowadays to half of that number due to different causes such as natural disasters, famine, diseases, war and genocide, political repressions, cultural/ political/economic dominance (Austin and Sallabank 2011, p.5). The examples of languages affected by these causes are the following ones: Miskito language in Nicaragua, Mayan language in Guatemala, Breton in France, Kurdish in Turkey and many others. Besides, English language is becoming more and more popular with people worldwide due to globalization, at the same time some of the languages are vanishing, and it becomes almost impossible for the future generations to learn them. There should exist ways to prevent the irreversible loss of languages that is leading to a less diverse world. The less speakers of a particular language are there in the world to pass their knowledge on to children, the more possible becomes the extinction of these languages. Moreover, the speakers of minority languages suggest that it would be more useful to teach a major national or international language to their children than a useless endangered language (Austin and Sallabank 2011, p.11). For example, most of interviewees in Guernsey answered to the Sallabanks interviews as follows: I think it would be more useful to teach a modern European language such as French or German (Dentist, 40s) (Austin and Sallabank 2011, p.11) This means that in some way the native speakers cause the endangerment of the language by their indifferent attitude. According to Romaine (2008, p.7), there are three positions to the threat of endangerment and extinction of languages: Do nothing Document endangered languages

Last Name Goes Here 2 Sustain/revitalize threatened languages Very few people care about the fact that their language can vanish. As Malik writes, What if half of worlds languages are on the verge of extinction? Let them die in peace (quoted in Romaine 2008, p.8). However, indifference will never make the situation with the extinct and endangered languages better. That is why it is vital to consider the second and the third positions, which seem to be more helpful and effective for language preservation. Along with saving documented audio, video data and other documents, the linguists suggest teaching minority languages as second languages at schools for the future generations not to lose a substantial part of their unique culture (Dorian NC, p. 36), as in the case of Tolowa individuals who have passed through the Tolowa language program in northern California. Not only should we try to preserve the endangered languages by documenting and revitalizing them, but we must also try to save the speakers. Languages can only exist where there is a community to speak and transmit them... Where communities cannot thrive, their languages are in danger. When languages lose their speakers, they die (Romaine 2008, p.14). The society the native speakers are living in should try to help in saving the culture of the nationalities that are disappearing, as they play a fundamental role in creating the cultural diversity of our world.

Last Name Goes Here 3 References Austin PK and Sallabank J (ed.) 2011, The Cambridge handbook of endangered languages, Cambridge University Press, New York Dorian NC 2010, The private and public in documentation and revitalization, in Farfn JAF and Ramallo FF (ed.) New perspectives on endangered languages: bridging gaps between sociolinguistics, documentation and language revitalization, John Benjamins Publishing, Philadelphia, USA Romaine S 2008, Linguistic diversity, sustainability, and the future of the past, in King, KA, Schilling-Estes N, Fogle L, Lou JJ and Soukup B. (ed.) Sustaining linguistic diversity: endangered and minority languages and language varieties, Georgetown University Press, Washington, D.C.