Language Of Commerce, Government, And Faith Essay

1590 Words Apr 7th, 2016 7 Pages
In our modern world, there is a grave linguistic crisis–thousands of languages are dying. Linguists believe that anywhere from fifty to ninety percent of the world’s seven thousand living languages will go extinct by the end of the century (Sabar, 2013, p. 32). Among the oldest is Aramaic, which had once been very commonly spoken in the Middle East. It was the language of commerce, government, and faith–Jesus Christ’s dying words were in Aramaic (Sabar, 2013, p. 32). Today, however, Aramaic has very few speakers scattered around the world, and it is not being passed on: “...few children and even fewer grandchildren learn it” (Sabar, 2013, p. 32). This tragedy is not uncommon; even languages with tens or hundreds of thousands of speakers, such as Cherokee or Tuvan, find themselves at a disadvantage. With greater pressure to learn more popular languages, particularly English, people leave behind their seemingly useless native tongues. Eventually, everyone may end up speaking the same language–and why not? A monolinguistic culture facilitates communication and understanding between peoples hundreds of thousands of miles apart. It is the gateway to “greater education and success” (Rymer, 2012. P. 62). Despite this, endangered languages ought to be preserved because language documents human heritage, increases the biodiversity of humanity, and expresses cultural attitudes. The deaths of thousands of the world’s languages are great tragedies, and this crisis introduces a question…

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