Attitudes Towards Non-English Cultures and Languages - Essay Example

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Name: Professor: Course: Date: Introduction English is the most universally employed language in the world. This means that it is probable to stumble on an English speaker in most regions round the globe than any other language. It is also considered as an official language in most scenarios and is used in official functions by numerous individuals, corporations and countries…
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Attitudes Towards Non-English Cultures and Languages
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Download file to see previous pages The spread of the language globally is mainly attributed to colonialism. The British due to their development economically increased their influence in Europe. The discovery of new lands to supply labor, raw materials among other motivations led the British to invade distant lands, and assert control. This was not limited to political control but was also extended to the social aspects of the natives. This included religion, education, legislation dressing and language among other aspects of their social life. This was mainly because their cultures were deemed as inferior to the modern culture practiced by their colonizers. This resulted in putting into peril the customs that were practiced by the indigenous communities, and the significant aspect that was adversely affected was language. These led to indigenous cultures being viewed with an attitude that it was inferior and backward. These perceptions have affected immensely indigenous cultures and languages at the expense of English language. Despite the English language being employed in the contemporary society, it had detrimental effects on indigenous language and culture. Attitudes towards Non-English Cultures and Language Colonialists and missionaries played a significant role in the spread of English. During their activities, they encountered natives who had cultures and languages that were developed and established. These languages were, however, unknown creating a language barrier that would have made the objectives of the colonialists and missionaries harder to accomplish. It was, therefore, crucial that the English language was spread to the natives to understand the language of their colonial masters (Jenkins, 2003 p51). The English were aware that the natives would not accept their language and culture willingly. Therefore, the colonialists had to portray the language of the natives as backward and barbarous. This made the natives admire the new culture and language and accept to adapt it willingly. Perhaps the English had a point since their culture and knowledge was advanced due to their education and economic situation. This made the English culture appear vogue and progressive to the natives. This, in turn, created a perception that the native culture is barbaric, a fact that is not proper. The English colonialists devalued the local languages and cultures resulting in the emergence of the superiority of the English language and consequently its culture. This is evident in various parts of the globe with the native culture and language being replaced with English. Communities that had a rich culture and a developed language slowly lost their grandeur, and were instead seen to glorify English discarding their native culture. Such communities include the Native American communities among numerous other cultures. Tribes like the Navajo, Hopi and Tohono among other American natives are seen to be losing their cultures over the years. This is because the culture is not percolated to the descents of these culturally rich and once prominent tribes in America. This resulted in the newer generations of indigenous communities adopting the English language rather than their native ones. This is evident in other regions of the world with most conspicuously the aborigines of Australia, whose new generations have picked up the English language despite their isolation and rich cultural background. There ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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