January 14, 2009

language and diversity

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:08 pm by changisme

The anti-globalization activists say that since the time of Columbus the number of languages in the world has declined from 15K to 6K, which means our languages are not as rich of an reservoir as before. I don’t have the knowledge of the evolution of many languages, but I still beg to differ, at least in the way the conclusion is reached.

I won’t even argue about how those two numbers are counted since so many languages or dialects in this world are geographically continuous. The more important thing is there are diversity between languages, as well as with in each language.

In the past couple hundred years, both English and Chinese have incorporated a lot more foreign concepts. The Chinese is a little harder to measure due to the linguistic reform, but in the whole, diversity still exists, just within each language.

I know also, for some colonized places such as Singapore and some countries in Africa, local concepts are not lost, the incoming language has absorbed local languages into their fabric and even spread beyond the borders.

This type of new diversity in my opinion is better because people can actually understand and take pleasure in the diversity rather than simply having it present in this world but only some language expert of God can have a good laugh over it.