Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘dominant language

Do you feel concerned if you knew that every two weeks a language (mostly oral languages) dies as the last elder person in the community is buried?  Thousands of oral languages cannot find a mother speaking to their children in the original local language, which a long lineage of ancestors carried for centuries to communicate and disseminate a culture, customs, and traditions through live stories and lovely myths.

You might say: “I know several languages that allow me to understand the main important cultures and read fantastic works” or “my language (mother tongue) suffices me to live comfortably and flourish in my lifetime” or “what should I care of a language if I am unable to read or nobody is interested in translating or nobody would do his thesis writing the oral language in a language that can disseminate an exotic culture?”

Fact is, most of us do not care to read works translated from foreign languages on the ground that “I don’t even read in my own language” or “I am not interested in culture or foreign customs and civilizations” or ” I am focused in knowing myself and changing my behavior before I can change or transform my community” or “I even do not converse, much less discussing with foreigners” or “English is all that I need to navigate the net and be in touch with the world.”

Fact is, many countries, large and small, speak varieties of languages within their borders; many communities at walking distances speak different dialects, while many townspeople at walking distances who speak the same language have different customs and traditions.

This last century produced “independent nations” with central administrations that enforced learning the dominant language for safeguarding a sense of “nationhood”, meaning that hired civil servants and administrators have to be able to communicate and write in a dominant language, meaning that trades and legal matters have to be carried out in the dominant language.

The equation in upholding the dignity of human rights should have been pretty simple and straightforward:  Extending opportunities and exposures to comprehending various cultures should not destroy acquired human rights, rights gained through centuries of continuous living cultures and customs.  History has demonstrated that supplanted civilizations never produced sustainable civilizations on the debris of  homogeneous and stable cultures that managed to thrive and prosper through centuries.

Whether you live in the poorest States or in the most powerful and richest States, there are far more people suffering (from famine, weak health, bad nutrition, unsanitary living conditions, unsafe workplaces, and lower than standard schooling systems…) than the few richest middle classes.  The exploiters are the same and the masters are the same.

What dignity weak nations are fighting to recover?  Is it erasing past humiliations?  Is it the revenge of past subjugation and enslavement?  Are we not in the same mess of slavery and dehumanizing social organizations?

What dignity are the poorer States claiming to regain?  Did they established equality under the law for all ethnic minorities, gender difference, religious affiliations…? Did they enacted equitable election laws to all citizens?

Nothing basically changed, except the substitution of “politically correct” euphemisms: cooperation replaced colonization, development is meant exploitation, privileged partners was substituted to indigenous people, moral entity for enterprises, mentally challenged for unsuitable eugenics races, genetically challenged for unfit species, sanitary engineers for cleaning workforce and garbage collectors, high in color for social misfits, repair-it-all for non graduate students…

What heroes and what traitors for which period, traditions, and moral value paradigm?

Why thousand of working and healthy languages and cultures have to go down the drain?  Whose is benefiting from this genocide on world scale?  Multinational corporations?  They never cared about living species, biodiversity, and sustainable environment:  Why should they care about dying languages and dying cultures?

Note: I received a comment stating: “What exactly is your argument for preserving these languages?  If they’ve been supplanted by other means of communication then what’s the problem?  Languages aren’t alive in any real sense.  They’re tools. If someone finds a better tool who are you to suggest they have to keep the old one lying around?”

I think we are communicating at a different wavelength.  First, how language is not a living entity?  Second, how language can be a tool?   Are you aware of a tool designed to communicate ideas, passions, emotions, and telling stories of hopes and expectations to next generations? Simply put,  languages of minorities, even oral languages, supersede in rights (legally and culturally) any other modern rights or laws because they were used for centuries and worked well for communities.  Actually, the UN super laws in the Charter guarantees conservation of minority languages. And third, has anyone asked permission of the concerned communities for abolishing their languages?
Suppose you managed to win a major right then, would you relinquish an
acquired right for another more powerful than you, financially,
politically, or militarily?  Shouldn’t you fight for these acquired
rights that nobody gave to you and that you instituted by continuous
practice and application?




June 2023

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