Friday, July 08, 2005

Languages II

This week I read an interview in a magazine with a linguist. Funny, because I was talking about languages and suddenly that interview came up. I was amazed with the amount of languages he spoke fluently, the ones he studied deeply, he knew a LOT about languages.
Apparently, everyday that goes by there are two languages in the world that disappear and can never be recovered because they were never written. It's a great loss of culture every single day because, as he explains, what dies is the associations that those cultures made in reality, and in a psychological perspective, the meanings they created from the world.
But it's all part of the process because, at the same time, there are new languages being created.
It is also mentioned in the interview the idea that English may one day "give birth" to a number of new languages, like Latin gave birth to the romanic languages.
He also says that we can never be certain about the future of a language, but there are some that are more secured than others, especially those in developing-countries, like China, some countries in South America...
This is starting to get even more interesting to me ;)

5 comments:

Jon said...

English had already created some new languages, particularly the "Creole" languages. Also some English words have crept into Setswana, but have been co-opted into its grammar. For example, the word "school" has been translated into the word "sekole", as Setswana does not ordinarily allow or prefer words to begin with two consonantal sounds adjacent to each other.

Devil Mood said...

I'm glad I'm getting to learn a few things :) That's interesting but that hypothesis they talked about would mean that english itself would disappear (that wouldn't be nice because I like english very much eh eh).

Jon said...

Latin still exists in some form or other, so I doubt English will disappear completely. Languages evolve - compare Modern English to Old English and the differences are stunning. Anglo-Saxon is practically impenetrable, lol :)

Devil Mood said...

That's right, it's all about evolution. I think languages are never our "own", that's why it's silly and useless that people try to preserve the way things "used-to-be-said or written" and stop the natural developments. I'm a bit like that, though, I'm a bit conservative and I don't like the new words that come along.

Jon said...

Hey, you can speak at least two languages, I'm sure you can get used to change :)