Language is an essential part of our lives. We use it to communicate to one another and without it, we can’t read, write, speak, or understand what others are saying.
Without language, we can’t share our experiences and stories to one another
Losing our identity
It’s like a domino effect: if the language is lost, then you can say goodbye to your culture, education, heritage, and identity. Language isn’t only used to communicate, but to identify one another. It’s like a passport, a fingerprint; language is used to identify a culture.
The weakening of a language can be toxic as certain cultures have traditions which may only be understood if we can comprehend its native tongue. Once a language dies, all of the observations and stories that were recorded by the culture can lose their value. The stories and culture can become worthless.
The United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization was set up by the United Nations to ensure the safety of a culture’s language. UNESCO promotes international collaboration through education, science, and culture. The United Nations understands the value of a language, therefore, creating this organization.
According to UNESCO, it has been estimated that approximately 6000 languages worldwide are in danger.
An example of an endangered language is Patwin. Patwin is a Native American language spoken in the Western United States. As of 1997, there was one fluent speaker.
In 2010, Patwin language classes were taught at Yocha Dehe Winton Nation tribal school.
“It has long been a tradition of Yocha Dehe to preserve and revitalize our culture” (http://www.yochadehe.org/)
“Yocha Dehe’s tribal school—Yocha Dehe Wintun Academy—imparts a strong foundation of Patwin culture…”
Another example of an endangered language is the Apiaka language in Brazil. By the 20th century, they were considered extinct. As of 2007, there was only one person who was able to speak that language.
Passed Over By Generations
There are ways to solve the problem of endangered languages possibly going extinct. Keeping a language alive requires simple tasks, such as spreading awareness, communicating with others, researching and taking a look at the root of the problem to help solve this issue.
Language is passed down from generation to generation, perhaps it is up to the parents to teach their children about their native language. If they fail to, then the language you speak can disappear into the midst and be lost forever.
GA3 (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural)
Strategies for the safeguarding of endangered Languages and enhancing language diversity
By: Hessa Al-Kubaisi