Week 7 Blog

I think that we lose a lot when a language becomes extinct. The most important thing that I feel we lose is the heritage and history that accompanies that language. In the creation of any language the history of the people creating it is embedded within and when that language becomes extinct, those pieces of history will no longer be passed on to the future generations of that same community of people. It was also stated within the lectures this week that when a language becomes extinct, it is hard to translate the written materials exactly into another language. This is because in many different languages certain words mean more than the direct translation, so some of the meaning may be conveyed in a different way.

I think living in a world full of many languages is an extremely amazing thing that many people take for granted. This factor alone adds so much culture and creates differentiation between people and communities. I understand every ones argument for wanting to have a universal language that each person can communicate with one another efficiently, however I feel that this reason alone is not good enough to wipe out generations of historically filled languages to make it easier on people. I personally think that it is beautiful when someone is bilingual, it shows that they took the time to either learn the language of their ancestors or that they were interested enough in someone else’s culture that they went out of their way to learn the language.  In one of my classes at MSU, one of my professors made the point that languages are not supposed to be easy, it is a very complex system, and people should start to appreciate the complexities of language and not challenge them.

Yes it would make it easier if we all spoke the same language, but why would we chose to all be so similar? I feel that it is selfish of people who already know English to deem that as the language for the world. For starters it is one of the most difficult languages to learn. Secondly I feel that it isn’t fair if we chose English because that again ignores all of the culture and other historical things that go into making this world what it is. I think it would only benefit the people who grew up with this language as their own. For many others it would be extremely difficult to learn English.

On the other hand, I feel that if English were becoming extinct I would be devastated. It would be so uncomfortable to be thrown into a world where i didn’t understand the language that everyone was being forced to learn. I also think that it would be detrimental to a lot of people who have devoted their life into making our language as complex and meaningful as it is today. I think a lot of people would feel similarly.

I thought this course was laid out perfectly for an online class. There was a set schedule which allowed me to divide my time between work and school and not stress about not having time to complete an assignment. I also thought that it gave us a lot of information about language but also insight to the complexities that go along with language. I think this knowledge will be extremely beneficial in the field because it will help us understand the students in our class better.

One thought on “Week 7 Blog

  1. I absolutely agree with you! I think the most important thing that is lost when a language is lost is the history. I am bilingual in that I speak both English and Arabic. If I were to ever lose either of those languages, I would lose much more than just words. I would lose stories of my ancestors, words that I use to string into sentences, and most importantly- I would lose the only source of communication I have with some of my relatives that still live in the Middle East (because they don’t speak good English, or English at all). You really hit the nail on the head! In Arabic, there are a lot of sayings and little isms that are said. Whenever I ask about what they mean, there is always a story behind it- albeit a family story or story relating to a prophet in the Quran. I think the most interesting language that we are still to this day attempting to fully interpret and understand is Egyptian hieroglyphics. Some of the symbols the ancient Egyptians used are still untranslatable because they left nothing and no one behind to help us interpret what they mean. When they died out, their language died out with them. This left us with the difficult task of conducting intense and extensive research regarding more than just their language to try and decipher the hieroglyphics. Even as someone that is bilingual, I still am amazed by those that are able to speak two languages. I find the French and Italian languages to be breathtakingly beautiful. Great post!

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