Endangered Languages And Cultures : Why We Should Do Nothing

2066 Words Mar 29th, 2016 9 Pages
Endangered Languages and Cultures
Why We Should Do Nothing
Word Count: 1861

Endangered Languages and Cultures
Why We Should Do Nothing
Over winter break I watched Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. It has since become my favorite film. Scott’s attention to detail is evident in every frame of the movie. Language, or rather communication, is a recurring theme throughout the film. More precisely, Cityspeak—a language made up of German, Japanese, and Spanish—is one of the not so noticeable thematic elements of the film(being described only once by Harrison Ford’s voiceover in the 1986 U.S. theatrical release, and not at all in subsequent cuts which opted to not use the voiceover). Cityspeak highlights a key characteristic of all languages and, to a certain extent, cultures: they are inherently dynamic, are subject to change, and—in a modern, overcrowded city—are bound to influence each other. Endangered languages are dying at an unprecedented rate, new languages becoming the vernacular, and others becoming obsolete. As a result, a host of native populations are abandoning their mother tongues in order to be part of the modern world, opting to teach their children English, Spanish, or Chinese. The majority of linguists believe that endangered languages must be saved; however, the adoption or abandonment of a language by a group of speakers is a conscious choice, often resulting in innumerable benefits. Communication is synonymous with productivity. In fact, an active…

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