What exactly is language preservation and why is it so important? In a world whereby certain key languages are becoming increasingly global, the need for minority languages unfortunately diminishes. However, many of us in the language industry recognise that each language is associated with particular cultures or communities. With every language comes unique structures, phraseology, dialects as well as new insights, visions and perceptions. And for this reason, all rare and minority languages should be protected at all costs.
So, What Is Language Preservation?
Essentially, as the phrase itself suggests, language preservation is the act of preventing languages from dying out or being completely forgotten.
And So Why Is Language Preservation Important?
Globalisation and mobility would, indeed, be significantly more streamlined if the world spoke just one language.
However, language preservation is crucial in order to keep identities of certain communities intact. In other words, it promotes diversity and individuality, as well as safeguards culture, tradition and history.
The reality is that there are hundreds of languages which are predominantly spoken and are not used in mainstream media or for business. Indigenous languages are at particular risk due to their lack of speakers and socioeconomic status. According to the United Nations, an average of one language dies every two weeks! This illustrates how it is relatively easy for such languages to become extinct in a world that is dominated by only a handful of selected global or business languages. I think we can all agree on a no-brainer that English, Spanish, Chinese, French and Arabic, for instance, are present across all corners of the globe, and as such, this could prevent younger and new generations from learning or speaking their local languages. The snowball effect of this is that minority and rare languages will not only die out, but they will lose their influence and their role in society will no longer have meaning.
Fortunately, some governments are taking action to protect their language(s). For example, in India, Hindi and English are the main languages. However, little do the wider world realise that there are, in fact, dozens of endangered languages such as Aimol, Wadari and Kolhatli. The Indian government and education system have subsequently decided to teach dying languages in schools in order to keep them thriving in communitites.
Similarly, in Quebec, a French speaking province in Canada, regulations have been implemented that orders each and every business to post their signs in French alongside English.
In short, dozens and hundreds of languages are teetering on the brink of extinction. Language preservation is primordial to keep communities and societies alive.
Interested in the protection of minority and rare languages? Follow the link and read more about The Future Of Endangered Languages.