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Globalization and the English language

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1310 words Published: 16th May 2017

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Globalization is building bridges to connect people from all across the world and it plays an important role in understanding inter-cultural background of different countries. In today’s rapidly growing world, globalization has changed a lot of things though there are many benefits to this, there are also disadvantages. On one hand English is helping people around the world to unite but on the other hand it is in a way influencing them to think in western cultural point of view, where their original culture is derailed. There will be a time when language will die out and we may not have translators who would translate which means an entire language can be wiped out. Each language has its own emotions and perspective attached to it, so when a language dies the emotion and perspective dies too. The use of language is more commercial and commodity based so it loses its significance in its cultural aspect. I believe in the diversity of cultures because the knowledge we get from different cultures and language adds on to our understanding of the world. Studying languages varied is like understanding different rivers of civilization as it merges to one ocean, the world. At the alarming rate by which languages are dying I took it upon myself to raise this issue to an official forum of the world which is the “United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization”. The form I choose to write would be an official letter stating the problems and solutions of varied languages of the world dying. I choose this form as this issue can be solved in a forum which unifies the world.

“Languages are dying at an unprecedented rate. A language dies every 14 days.” (Patricia Ryan)- Author of “The sun and the moon.”

I am a student from India and I am driving your attention to the subject of endangered languages and cultures and its effect on the world. I sincerely hope you understand the problem and reflect on it. I am addressing this issue to you because as a head of “UNO” cultural department, this may help pave way to finding solutions for preserving the languages of the world.

Without any dispute, English has become the most useful language in today’s world. It is a major advantage to business and travel. In this process English also holds the responsibility to the extinction of other languages and hence their cultures. Just how far can this go on ?

A language is not only a way of expression but it is connected to emotional aspect. Different cultures view the world differently and due to declination of language in today’s society a vast amount of ancestry knowledge is being lost. For example: Ayurveda which is written in Sanskrit is a branch of Indian science is derived from ancestral knowledge, Ayurveda was passed on through generations and the knowledge kept on contracting as the day’s progress. As the world is getting more and more modernized the translators are on the decline. A reason where we lose out in the essence of a culture and knowledge as the language dies. Indian written texts is rich with knowledge as there are ancient studies on Economics (Arthashastra), Sciences (Vedas), Physical and mental empowerment (Patanjali), which were all written in Sanskrit. Once a language is lost it cannot be traced back. The amount of knowledge Ayurveda possesses is incredible, the way they look at the world is astonishing. They understand the core of the nature; they can predict winds with moist of the soil. Ayurveda is an alternative to medicine; some of the techniques of Ayurveda are tested at many research facilities. This information on Ayurveda will be best known by native person who observed the knowledge from his childhood not the person who tests under different trials to obtain temporary results. The modern generation is bereft of the knowledge acquired by their ancestors .The language of learning could have been oral and scripts written in palm leaves. The records were destroyed and some handed out to the family.

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I intend to imply that what knowledge humans are seeking for or inventing has been already done or half done by our ancestors who recorded it in their own language and as a consequence of language extinction there will be death of this pre accumulated knowledge. We have to trace back and reinvent what they have done and decode the languages. This can be done best by a native speaker not a translator. The manuscripts written in Ayurveda cannot be fully understood by the translator of this generation because a lot of words were lost in between and there was less importance placed on preservation of languages.

It is culture which makes a community worth noticing. Language is the way of knowing, expressing their action . This is a prime reason why travelers go around the world looking for lost cultures. The knowledge is being passed on through generations. English has to exist as a global language which makes communication easier between different people from different backgrounds but “should it be too compulsory to an extent where it drives out the knowledge?” A person understanding is connected to their emotions and this is connected to their culture through language. Studies have shown that a person who uses his vernacular learns and understands concepts better than they do in foreign language. English should be taught a little later in life because it is helping people connect around the world but should it be taught to an extent where it acts as a barrier to knowledge?

Languages are dying in an accelerating rate some languages such as Irish Gaelic, Welsh, and Maori are already extinct and so their wisdom on life. An article on New York Times has estimated that Ninety-five percent of the world’s languages are spoken by only five percent of the population

In today’s world bi-lingualism would be a best idea. It would be a benefiting future if children all across the globe are taught about their cultural background and their own mother tongue before they learn further on western languages and their culture. The best option for this is encouraging native speakers and respecting their cultures. This not only enriches human way of thinking but also makes world more colorful and a fun place to live in. If world forgets other cultures and speaks only single language. National Geographic have come with a program which helps reviving lost languages.

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Language preservation works best when the culture, language and identities of a certain community are respected by that country’s government. It’s obvious that one can’t speak a language if one is unaware of the right pronunciation. I think language should also be stored on internet with audio courses, so that in future people all around the world can access the megabytes data and enrich their own thinking style.

I conclude by saying depressingly, many linguists accept that of the 6,000 or more languages that are in use today, anywhere from 50% to 90% of them could be extinct by the year 2050.With the spread of globalization. But this is not the end; The “United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization” still has an opportunity to preserve and save the dying colorful cultures all across the world which add to humanity’s evolution. This generation holds the key responsibility to decide what lives on and what dies. So I would sincerely request you to please take a stand and address this issue. Page number: 3

Thank you,


Gowtham Reddy. [2] 


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