If your language lost, it should die with dignity, not be put on artificial life-support because ‘reasons’
#Sorry but I have no sympathy for that fight#let the dead languages be dead#grumping#controversial opinions#because people always get annoyed with me when I say this#but Gaelic (for example) shouldn’t still exist
Gaelic hasnt been lost. It’s never died or been brought back. There’s an unbroken line of native speakers going back to the beginning of the language. That doesn’t seem like a ‘lost’ language to me. Furthermore I’m not sure what ‘artificial life-support’ means in this context. Gaelic is given funding for schools because there’s still native speakers of the language. It’s no more artificial than money being given to schools for English language lessons.
If anything is ‘artificial’ its the imposition of a foreign language
(English) into a Gaelic majority zone and native speakers having to
fight for decades to be able to be taught in their own language. Native speakers being forced to learn English to exist within their own regions because a central government would not allow services to be given in a people’s own language.
But then the clock only goes back so far with people who wish that minority languages would just die. There’s nothing artificial about shooting someone but suddenly it becomes an ‘artificial’ act to maybe phone an ambulance?
“There’s nothing artificial about shooting someone but suddenly it becomes an ‘artificial’ act to maybe phone an ambulance?” — THIS RIGHT HERE
Also just gonna point out here:
In the UK, the languages Gaelige, Gaelic, Cymraeg and Kernewek (that’s Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Cornish respectively) didn’t just “die out.” There was a concerted effort by the English to kill them off.
For example, in Wales, if a child was heard speaking Welsh in a classroom, they’d be given a “Welsh Not”, a wooden plaque engraved with “WN” to hang around their neck. They’d pass it onto the next child heard speaking Welsh, and whoever had the Welsh Not at the end of the day was punished – usually with a beating.
Kernewek was revived after a long hard struggle by the Cornish folk, and is now being taught again, but a lot about it has been lost because everyone who grew up speaking it has died.
And languages are never revived “just because.” The language of a place can offer so much insight into its history, so if you’re content to let a language die then you’re content to let history die.
People talk about “dead” languages as if they dwindle away gradually, naturally coming to an end and evolving into something else, but that’s rarely the case. Languages like Cymraeg and Gaelige and especially Kernewek didn’t have the chance to die with dignity, they were literally beaten out of my parents and grandparents.
Is it any wonder every other country hate the English? We invade their country, steal their history, claim pieces of their history as ours or flat out re-write it, and kill every part of their culture that we can.
It’s a miracle that any of the Celtic languages survived, so even if you don’t see the point in keeping them alive, the actual natives of each country we’ve fucked over are clinging onto what heritage they have left through the only thing they can: their language.
Hey OP, póg mo thóin!
I would like to point all of these “just let it die” assholes directly at Hebrew.
The language was effectively dead. It had been murdered and forced-assimilated away.
But there was this dude named Ben Yehuda.
And he said “no.”
“The language of my people for four thousand years or more,” he said, “should not stop existing because of a bunch of assholes.” (Okay, this is a dramatic retelling. He probably didn’t actually say assholes.)
So he started an official movement to recreate Hebrew as closely as possible to how it had been spoken about a thousand years prior.
Today, ancient Hebrew is spoken by millions of Jews around the world weekly in our prayers and Torah readings, and modern Hebrew is the official language of eight and a half million people–many of them having been born speaking it as a first language. Many people in the first group also speak at least some modern Hebrew–and it’s possible you do, too! A lot of loan words from Hebrew and Yiddish have made their way into English (like klutz, mensch, and kibitz).
That’s hardly “on life support.” Hebrew is growing, living, and thriving because of the Enlightenment efforts of the 1800s. The same COULD be done for languages like Welsh, Navajo, and Basque if the larger powers that be said “this is important” rather than forcing a giant bastion of culture–the language in which a people lived, loved, thought, told stories, and explained their world–to die.
there is a distinct difference between language that has died because it stopped meeting the needs of the people using it and language that has been deliberately killed by oppressors
I remember reading a linguist’s thoughts on this a while back. They noted that languages are not only an important cultural heritage, but also an important historical artifact that offers a look into the unique perspective of a culture. The things that we name and how we name them reflect our values and priorities. For example, Inuktitut is said to have several different words for snow that categorize them by various metrics. This reflects a need for communication regarding what the snow was like, which naturally would be important to a people who deal with snow on a near constant basis. There are nine different ways to say “you’re welcome” in Native Hawaiian, each responding to a different level of gratitude. You don’t respond the same way to “thanks for giving me a donut” as you do to “thanks for saving my life.” This reflects a culture of accountability and honor.
The study and preservation of indigenous languages worldwide is vital to the enrichment of our global culture. You don’t have to be fluent in multiple languages to be able to understand the perspective that is offered by nurturing this tradition. Our ability to communicate is one of our greatest gifts – what a waste it would be to throw that away simply because providing institutions of cultural heritage is too inconvenient.