Post 7

I think that we lost a lot when a language goes extinct. I think that as being an English speaker, I don’t really notice much if some far away native language goes extinct. But, if I put myself in their shoes, I can’t even imagine what it would feel like. When you lose a language, you lose all the culture that goes along with that language. You lose connections and relationships when you lose a culture. You lose your identity, your place in the world. I speak Japanese as my second language, and with Japanese, there’s a completely different side to me. If Japanese went extinct, I would feel like I lost half of my identity because so much of what makes me “me”, is found in the culture of Japan. I think we do benefit from having a world filled with many languages. What would the world be like with only one language? We would lack the ability of learning about new cultures, because there would only be one. By having so many languages across the world, we can continue to learn about each other every single day. I think that’s a magical thing to think about. There will always be another language/culture that we don’t know about, and that we can learn about. And with having so many languages, we can feel connections with certain people. In a nutshell, a world with only one language would be extremely boring and we as people would lack depth in our personalities. By saying that it would be “easier” if everyone spoke one language, I think that would be in the point of view of a powerful nation. Powerful people do not like people that can speak many languages that are different from them because it makes them powerful. The powerful nation becomes weak if there are people plotting against them secretly. But if looking at it from a different point of view, sure, it would be easier. For people traveling around the world or whatnot. But if everyone were to speak the exact same language and dialect, I’m sure the world would lack culture and there would be little point in traveling. Why travel across the world to meet people that are like your next door neighbors? Now if English was a minority language and it was being threatened, I would be terrified! Of course I would! That’s a very scary thought. No one in their right minds wants to be wiped off the face of the earth. To make sure it thrived, I would probably try to teach as many children as possible (especially my own). I would probably video record myself talking, and then translate it into whatever language was powerful. I wouldn’t go down without a fight. Lastly, I thought this course was very interesting. There were some parts that were a bit confusing and too deeply linguistic for me to grasp fully, but I really enjoyed the personal stories sprinkled around in the class. (Like the last unit, I really liked those 4 chapters about the different diminishing languages). I think I learned a lot about anthropology, and I’m glad I was able to take this class!

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