An the near future. This is can be

            An endangered language is a language at risk of extinction, a language that
may to become vanish and won’t exist anymore in the near future. This is can be
surprising when we know that today, we can number about more than seven thousands
languages in the world.  However, as
David and Greg pointed out in the documentary one small language disappears
every two weeks. These small languages are disappearing and are not use anymore
because there are been replaced by others languages more widely used in the
world such as English in the United States or French in France. We can identify
aspects of languages that are endangered such as the fact that there is only a
small numbers of speakers of this language and this number is decreasing over
the time, moreover those speakers are in majority elderly because children do
not learn those languages anymore. These languages on the verge of extinction will
died because they are no longer being learned by children and their last
speakers will die. For example at the beginning of the documentary in 2003,
David and Greg took a poll of nine speakers of Chulym, a native language spoken
in Siberia, by 2008 four of them were dead. In fact, more and more languages
are not just endangered but likely to be lost in the near future because only
one native speaker still living, and when this person will die the language
will die with his/her: the language will no longer be spoken, or known, by
anyone.

             In
my opinion, those languages are unknown by the world. Language which for many
years communities achieved to communicate, transmitted their knowledge and
kept alive their customs. If the language disappears, the culture associated
with it will disappear too and people will not use it anymore. When we think
about a language death, we are not only talking about a specific method of
communication, language is more than that. Behind the language we can find
different branch of knowledge, like Kallawaya that is famous for their healing
practices and their knowledge of medicinal use of thousands of plants, different
ways to look at the life and at the same time different methods of transmission
of ideas. As I said before, language and culture are together and if a language
whatever it is became a dead one the identity of a town became dead too. Just
for that reason we should care about language which are in verge extinction not
for the communication method because people will develop another language to
use but on the other hand the memories of that town will be forgotten with the
language as its history, its culture, its knowledge and its inhabitants because
no own will be able to carry on it. 

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            I
would feel the same way if English or French, my native language, were on the
verge of extinction. But the way a language spread, is kipping active and not
being endangered is also thanks to language contact. Because these endangered
language are spoken in remote part of the world did not help to spread it. In
contrary, English or French are spoken by many people across the world. As I
said before, language use is extremely linked to culture, if French will be on
the verge of extinction I would feel that part of my culture is disappearing
and part of who I am.

 

4.  

            The kind of conditions that would make children not want to learn a
language spoken by their parents or grandparents is primarily due to political
environment.  Boarding school policies
that forbid to speak any native languages seen as “gutter languages” like the
driver speaking Chulym pointed out. Indeed, because of the school system, most
of the children would feel ashamed to speak their native language. That is why,
in the movie, when the scientists are visiting a boarding school, most of the
students do not speak their native language. The same observation was made in
the United States, indeed in the documentary they pointed out that speaking
native languages at school was prohibited and children were punished if they
did so. Also children may not want to learn these native languages because of
economic factors. They feel or they have been told that it will be useless for
the modern world. Finally they have the idea that by choosing to abandon their
native language, they will be more efficient to learn another language, told to
be more useful, and it will increase their economic advantages.

            On the other hand, children
may want to learn these native languages to carry on their native culture,
their history, and their connections to ancestors, as it is a cultural heritage.
These native languages provide their livelihood. As the linguistics said at the
end of the documentary they don’t have to give up on their native languages to
learn another one. Being able to speak these native languages is also related
to being able to carry on specific knowledge, specific rituals and specific
ideologies. For example, all the knowledge of Kallawaya speakers about healing
practices thanks to plants that would be gone if there is no speakers anymore. UNESCO’s
website states that ‘Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not
only in respect of economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more
fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.’ It really
highlights that linguistic diversity provides and is part of the cultural
diversity of the world.

           

            Focusing
on the causes of language endangerment four main types of causes can be identified:
natural catastrophes, famine and disease, war and genocide, overt repression
and cultural, political, economic dominance. If we apply it to actual
situations of language endangerment or just the willingness or possibilities to
speak its native language for speakers of foreign languages or multilingual
speakers living in the United States, we can focus on the last cause that
impacts the most. First economic, people migrate more and more to cities
because of rural poverty that lead to gather different people with different
backgrounds that will adapt in order to be able to communicate. In fact,
globalization and the development of economies further tourism, and tourism
gathers speakers of majority languages, but they won’t be encouraged to speak
their native language because of the economic environment that implies to speak
English. Then cultural dominance, in cities we are exposed to the culture of
the majority community, for example education and literature through the
majority or state language policy only. Because of this cultural dominance,
multilingual speakers or foreigners do not have the opportunity to speak their
languages or to maintain their cultural differences. Finally, political causes,
for example education policies which ignore or exclude local languages, lack of
recognition or political representation, bans on the use of minority languages
in public life.

            Throughout
the documentary we understand and take into account the importance on how
language shapes social identity and how the loss of a language affects
individuals and communities. However the loss of a language is not only a concern
of recognized identity but much of the cultural, spiritual, and intellectual
life of a community is experienced through language. This means that the next
generation won’t experience and be aware of its all legacy that has been lost
through time and more specifically this is an entire tradition of a community
that is being lost. Applying it at the level of a foreigner moving to a new
country where there is no community that he can identify with. Because is not
being exposed to his native language and moreover to his community, over the
time the person will start to not using his native language anymore and won’t
carry on his legacy because of a lack of exposure. The impact of language lost
and the pressure for language shift in order to integrate majority community
shows that for the most part social identity is preserved but involves sudden
loss of tradition. Language loss appears to be an unavoidable consequence of
progress, globalization and develops understanding among groups. But this goal
can be reached by the learning of second and third languages, not by the loss
of native languages.

            I
realized that our native language it’s a treasure that makes who we are, how we
conduct our personal and professional life. This documentary helps me to
realize the importance of language diversity and that we should care and be
more involve to keep this diversity alive. Unfortunately, if we keep devaluing
some languages we won’t stop the number of languages death and maybe one-day
future generation will leave in one language use world.