For Thursdays English lesson, i have been asked to make a personal response on the following quote “The key to revitalizing a language is by motivating a new generation of speakers”. Here you will find my answer to that:
I do believe that by motivating a new generation of speakers, its possible to revitalize a language – actually i think that its impossible to give new life to a language, without motivating the speakers who are supposed to be the bearers of the individual languages.
Who in the world would spend precious time on learning a language, without seeing purpose in it from the start? Nobody, right? Well at least not me! I experienced that during elementary school, when i was taught German as a third language. I really couldn’t see the purpose in learning this language, and even when i asked my teacher for a valid reason on what i could use German for in my future, she couldn’t give me one single good one… It just seemed like some stupid politician had decided for me, that i should learn this language, for whatever reason.
Based on this experience, i totally agree on the stated quote. I do also believe that lack of motivation for learning a local language, is one of the main reasons why many languages are dying out in areas where other languages are dominant.
That said, i think that the reason for the lack of motivation in learning a local language, has to be found in our strive towards globalization. We totally forget about the importance, and information stored in the individual languages, because we have a narrow tunnel-vision towards an internationalization of the whole world.
Header-image is found at http://www.linguisticsoceiety.org