Language death—facing it, caring it and addressing it
What we care
Half of 7000 plus languages in the world is dying right in this moment, including both indigenous languages spread in small ethic groups and dialects used within some certain communities. These endangered languages are in both written form and oral form, but mostly in the latter one. However, the even worse thing is that the phenomenon of language death is increasing in an accelerating rate due to the rapid globalization and civilization.
Factors which lead to language death are multiple. Natural disaster: historical evidence showed that disaster like earthquake, tsunami or flood could cause disappearance of languages which used within relatively small and isolated communities. Cultural homogenization: overwhelming power of mainstream and dominant culture could degrade the spread of minority languages. Policies reason: popularization of official language implemented by government and lack of protection of dialects and languages of small ethnic groups could threaten the existence of such languages.
Why should care
Languages bring us cultural diversity—
Languages, just like animals and plants in the ecosystem to balance and maintain biological diversity, are functioning in the some way to stabilize our cultural diversity. Languages are the most vivid and momentous means to transmit and spread particular cultures. When the transmission part breaks down, a negative chain reaction and consequence occurs, which is not welcome for mankind. And plenty of cultural practice and essence can only be expressed precisely and vividly by its own language, the extinction of such languages is equal to disappearance of certain culture.
Languages offer us identity—
Language is one of the most ubiquitous emblems and icons to show and express people’s identity. In another words, languages majorly build one’s identity which offers individual sense of belonging, security and self-recognition. It brings individuals a clear vision that what they are and where they from. And also, those identities underlain by languages could make people distinguish “us” from “them”. Therefore the disappearance of languages could be seen as an equivalent to the