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Language - Essay Example

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Being so prevalent, one would expect that it would be viewed positively among its speakers. However, English has been blamed for adverse implications on the national identities of individual…
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Download file to see previous pages Language and culture are closely related, especially because language is part of culture. When considered individually, however, language and culture have a major impact on national identity. In this regard, Anderson is right in arguing that the mother tongue is the medium through which fellowships are imagined, history is rebuilt, and futures fantasised among patriots1. First, it is important to explore the concept of nationalism since it has a huge bearing on the impact of language. Nationalism is a relatively new concept for most countries; this is because most countries are relatively young. In this regard, it could be said that the oldest countries have the strongest links to nationalism2. For example, it is hardly surprising that terms like Americanism, capitalism, and communism, liberalism, socialism and anarchism are more entrenched in Western societies than in African ones. These isms are not only foreign but also imposed, and language is the vehicle used to facilitate such imposition. However, what differentiates younger from older countries is culture, because culture is rarely dependent on nationalistic ideals.
In English in the World: History, Diversity, Change, Seargeant and Swann explore the concept of globalisation and its connection to the spread of English3. Globalisation is often cited as one of the hindrances to nationalism and the development of nationalist ideals; this makes it a prime candidate for the examination of the relationship between struggles over the English language and struggles over national identities. The authors argue that the relationship between globalisation and English is two-way4. On one hand, the greater dynamism in society and the manner in which numerous facets of contemporary life function on an international rather than national level create a need for a standard method of communication that supersedes national boundaries. For example, if an enterprise wants to trade with businesses in other parts of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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