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, 24 нояб. 2020, 15:12

Endangered Languages

Why do languages extinct? The question raises concerns of many linguists and scholars across the whole world. Nowadays, the primary obstacle in the field of linguistics is that language groups become endangered. When languages are classified as endangered, it means that they are in danger of extinction. Languages may disappear for many reasons; however, the most widespread one is that the majority of population does not use them as spoken tongues. The analysis of the study shows that endangered languages are important to preserve. Such countries as the United Kingdom and Canada have developed effective strategies for saving extinct tongues.

Endangered languages are languages headed for extinction. These tongues do not have monolingual speakers who use only them for the purpose of communication. According to the United Nations, nearly half of all languages might disappear by the end of the twenty-first century. Scientists report that approximately 25% of the global languages are threatened while several of 7,000 tongues “face a serious risk of extinction”. For instance, a Japanese language called Ainu is endangered, as there are only ten native speakers who use it. Languages may become extinct due to economic or population growth, as well as globalization that accelerates the process. However, is it important to preserve endangered languages because they serve as a valuable resource that carries national experiences and knowledge throughout history. Additionally, they represent personal identities of their speakers, which other people should respect. The last not but least reason is that they help to understand the work of the human brain and the way it processes thoughts. To protect such tongues, the word has developed numerous programs. For example, in 1993, UNESCO implemented Endangered Language Project aimed at recording the disappearing languages and helping them to survive. Consequently, preserving the thousands of human languages, which currently extinct is essential for the study of linguistics.

Governments of the countries that faced the issue of language disappearance have elaborated successful legislative strategies of language preservation. Among these countries Canada and Great Britain occupied the leading positions in defensive work. The United Kingdom experiences the threat of loss of Welsh that belongs to the group of Celtic languages. The language is presumably spoken in Wales region and Chubut province of Argentina. The Welsh Language Act (1993) and the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure (2011) represented major governmental regulations aimed to protect Welsh language. The first one granted Welsh Assembly Government with rights to control extent of application of Welsh language on all levels of social life as well as made it responsible for language promotion. Then, Welsh Language Board was established that worked on Welsh language schemes, their proper usage by public bodies, and promotion. The second regulation aimed at providing “clarification about services that Welsh speakers can expect to receive”. It also included list of obligations and duties of specific organizations responsible for language protection. Likewise, Canada faces the risk of disappearance of French originally spoken in the district of Quebec. The government has created several institutions that became the guardians and promoters of endangered language. These include Office of the French Language and French Language Board. The government of Quebec introduced a number of legislative acts to increase the usage of French in daily life. The actions taken to promote it included obligatory usage in official documentation and in business. Thus, new companies are obliged to employ exclusively French names as well as provide translation for the names of manufactured products into French. Moreover, the immigrants are obliged to learn French and speak it in everyday life.

In conclusion, endangered languages refer to those ones that are in danger of extinction. It is significant to preserve such tongues as they represent speakers’ identities, history, as well as help to understand the way the human brain functions. Such states as Canada and the United Kingdom have developed effective strategies aimed at saving extinct tongues in their countries.

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