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Power of Language - Essay Example

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Language is the only source of exchanging thoughts. Language is viewed as a shaper of personal and cultural identity. Language and accents may also be the means by which one group of people culturally stereotypes another, whether the two groups speak different languages or speak variations of the same language…
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Power of Language

Download file to see previous pages... It is not surprising that our native language is often referred to as our "mother tongue" a terms that recalls our earliest memories and influences. The term itself has different meanings. The sociolinguist Tove Skutnabb Kangas (1981) hypothesizes five definitions of "mother tongue" depending on who is defining it. For the sociologist, mother tongue is the language one learns first. For the linguist, it is the language one knows best. For the sociolinguist it is the language one uses the most. For the social psychologist, it is the language one identifies with and through which one is identified. For the lay person, it is "the language one counts in thinks in, dreams in, writes a diary in, and writes poetry in" (Skutnabb- Kangas, 1981: 18).
Skutnabb- Kangas' social psychological definition of mother tongue brings out the importance of language as part of one's cultural identity. The mother tongue is the langue through which in the process of socialization one has required the norms and value systems of one's own group. The language passes on the cultural tradition of the group and there by gives the individual an identity which ties her to the in-group and at the same time sets her apart from other possible groups of reference.. Since this socialization process to a large extent occurs with the aid of language, language itself comes to constitute a symbolic representation of the group.
Diversity in Language
If just a few of the majority languages of the world solely existed, how tedious and uninteresting it would be. Rather, for the moment we have a language garden full of variety and color. The initial conclusion is simply that language diversity in the garden of the world makes for a richer, more interesting world with a depth of experience gained from a breadth of cultures.
However, language diversity makes the garden more difficult to tend. In a garden, some flowers and shrubs spread quickly. Some majority languages, particularly English, have expanded considerably during the last century. When the garden is neglected, a few strong species of flower may take over, and small minority flowers may be in danger of extinction. Therefore some delicate flowers need extra care and protection. A free language economy will mean the extinction of many languages' Language planning is essential to avoid such trends. When a gardener wishes to create a beautiful garden, there will be both careful planning and continued care and protection. Sometimes radical action may be taken to preserve and protect. The analogy suggests that language diversity requires planning and care.
If language resources are to be maintained and developed, of ensuring that the speaker of all languages value their language and take pride in their language skills. This will occur only if the society as a whole values those languages, recognizes and values language skills, and recognizes and values cultural and linguistic diversity.
Value of diversity
Linguistic Diversity helps sustain human existence. At times, medical cures are found in plans and flowers native to a particular region; knowledge about these cures comes from native speaking the local language. If the language disappears, the medical knowledge will disappear as well. Languages contain other types of knowledge; they express particular ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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