GRE Issue Essay 86
Many of the world’s lesser-known languages are being lost as fewer and fewer people speak them. The governments of countries in which these languages are spoken should act to prevent such languages from becoming extinct.
The issue raised by the author is right that some languages spoken by fewer people in the world are on the verge of becoming extinct. As per the author, the governments of countries in which these languages are spoken should act to prevent such languages from becoming extinct. It is easy to say that this is the responsibility of government but there should be suggestions about how the governments can help it.
Language is a wonderful medium of communication, which resembles an important aspect of the cultural heritage of a country. There are two things, existence, and enhancement that keep a language alive. Existence of a language depends entirely on the number of people using it as a medium of communication. The life of any language depends on many factors, like strong literature, people’s attitude, and the number of users. If people have great respect and love towards their mother tongue, then obviously they stick to it and will not look up to other languages. If peoples’ attitude towards a language is distorted then automatically the user-base tends to decline.
However, with the advent of globalization in modern world, countries and areas have to communicate increasingly. Hence, people would like to use a much widely used language such as English to communicate with others all around the world. This results in many lesser-known languages being lost because they prevent individuals and communities speaking such languages from communicating with outside world, and ultimately become obstacles of further development of these communities. According to a recent survey conducted on languages, there are about 8000 languages spoken round the globe and the existence of 90% of these languages is in danger.
In this scenario, it becomes government’s responsibility to patronize these languages. The governments should make people aware of the significance of speaking in their mother tongue. Study of mother tongue should be made mandatory in primary education. If proper actions are taken to counter this problem by the government and people of that particular country, then that particular language will not become extinct.
For example, Japan is a small country with a small population, but even today, there is no decline in the number of people using their language. This shows how the government and people of Japan are cautious in preserving their culture, even when they have to deal with the other countries for their business and developmental projects. However, there are many other small countries in south Asia, where few western languages have overtaken their national languages. Even in Europe alone, 30% of the languages have become extinct in the past few years.
However, governments alone cannot solve this problem by just making rules or passing laws. It requires peoples’ participation also. If people are aware of the impact of this problem and ready to participate in tackling this problem, then half the battle is won. The medium of instruction at schools and colleges should be compulsorily the national language. A subject on national language should be included in the curriculum till primary education. The medium of communication and official transaction in all government offices should be the national language.
Language is an emblem of a nation’s culture. Hence, it is not only the responsibility of the government but also the responsibility of the people to nurture their language.