Friday, February 02, 2007

Reading Assignment-- English Only Debate

Every countries have their own flags to represent their country;so does language. A language is not only a tool for communication,but also an identity and a Culture for its country. If there is an official language in the country, it will build up togetherness and national identity. Furthermore, a language is significant to continue the tradition and culture; therefore, having official language should be beneficial to a nation.

Language plays a vital role to keep nation’s unity。When someone introduces his nationality, we will immediately think of what language he may speak. That means language is a symbol of the nation, just like a flag means a country. For examples: in China, people speak Chinese; in German, people speak Germany;in Italy, people speak Italian; in Japan, people speak Japanese…and so on. In many countries, they may use several different languages or dialects, and people may argue which language is more important, even refuse to respect the other languages. Once people use the same language,it will not only improve their communication,but also shorten the distance among the different groups and see the similarities among them. Then the belongingness will start to establish 。

Languages are words in writing or speaking。Many legends and epics were told generations by generations,and they became our literature and cultures. They also preserve our history in writing so that we can learn more about our past:compare the differences between present and past;realize why and how our nation developed. If the language does not be used any more or is replaced by another one,its culture will be disappeared or forgotten with the death of the language。I have read a such thing happened in Chinese history.

Having an official language is not a bad thing,but we need to be very careful to mark a balance between official language and the rest. I think if people get more respect for their own dialects or languages,They may not have so many strong feelings about this issues.

1 comment:

  1. Ginyin

    Most official language are actually that by USAGE not decree or law - de facto rather than de juris.

    Linguists concur (and believe me they concur on very little!) that languages exist, dominate, change by usage and users. Speakers speaking a language make a country's language.

    Legislation declaring it be so is a skirmish (or battle) in the culture that happens when a dominant cultural group or linguistic elite comes to think of themselves and their "superior" culture as threatened by immigrants.


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