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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Language Respect Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Lavinia Loredana Spargo, United Kingdom May 3, 2011
Culture , Cultural Diversity , Languages   Opinions

  

Language Respect It's fair to say that the arena of language is a wild place to be.

Languages are in a constant battle for survival and supremacy. They intermingle, assimilate, fuse, annihilate each other, yet no one is ever left language-less.
With language, we'll always have a means to communicate.

And who can decide which is the right language to speak?
Language purism is almost an impossible theory. Linguistic loans are inherent to the concept of language.

As language is an expression of the spirit and culture of a group, whenever such groups come together, their languages will inevitably combine or one of them will take over.

If such is the case, why is this wrong?

It's because nowadays more and more people express their indignation at the so-called supremacy of the English language. Yet every day, without realizing, the same people use words that have been borrowed from other languages over the centuries.

Most times, language loans are born out of necessity, which is the necessity to express a new concept that has not previously existed into the language. And nobody has the job to create words from scratch since we borrow them from people who used those concepts before us.

Having said this, respect for other languages is just as important as respect for people of different nationalities and ethnic groups.

Unfortunately however, Transylvania, the area where I was born, is what I'd call one of the many places on earth where people live a conflict of languages on a daily basis.

This conflict is deeply rooted in history, and authorities don't seem to reach a compromise that would make Hungarian- speaking people and Romanian-speaking people happy together.

Although I often meet individuals who are open-minded and have no problem with the multiculturalism of the particular area, I also meet others, more so young people, who have extremist ideas. Such ideas follow along the lines of either a geographical separation of the two groups or removal of the Hungarian language from the state-wide school curriculum.

I can't begin to explain how wrong these ides are. After all, we are the fruit of the Romanian, Hungarian, and Saxon culture. We should be proud of the wonderful heritage that we have received and leave the problems of the past in the past.

I would love to be able to speak Hungarian. In fact, I would feel like I was bettering myself as a person and translator. Moreover it would definitely allow me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the Hungarian culture, which I absolutely admire.

I take this memory with a grain of salt, as when I was little, I wasn't really able to intermingle with Hungarian children because they preferred to play separately, as they weren't able to speak Romanian.

This I see as an issue. It's my belief that children of different ethnic groups should be taught the language of the country, for all the practical reasons in the world.

In a nutshell, I believe that languages are part of the beauty of our world, and humans are privileged to be able to make use the gift of language. We should use it as a means of getting closer and learning more about our neighbors, after all we only live on a small planet!





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Lavinia Loredana Spargo


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Comments


Excellent article
Cameron Klapwyk | Aug 28th, 2011
Thank you Lavinia. This is well-constructed article written from the heart. It raises a whole host of important questions about the role of language in society. Approximately every two weeks, a language will die out, because its last speaker passes away. This of course begs questions about the role of language within culture and in representing culture. Language can be pragmatically unifying and fiercely divisive.



perfect
Dalia | Aug 29th, 2011
Hi Lavinia i liked your article very much it seems very comprehensive linking too many ideas and very important issues that we are all concerned about you have mentioned almost the most useful aspects of the article language is just like a mother tree that has millions of branches which are the spoken languages and accents all over the world and i think without this great diversity we would never had the chance to discover other cultures and the beauty of exploring the countries , i also want to comment about the picture you have picked it's very expressive with the article , go on we want to see more great articles such as this one :))



Mutebi Bwakya | Jun 9th, 2011
I enjoyed reading your piece; very revealing and educative, I must say. Good stuff...



Lavinia Loredana Spargo | Jun 22nd, 2011
thank you! :)

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