business / Culture / Economy / Multilingualism

Globalization – Language Extinction?

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Is it true that living in a globalized world causes languages to extinct? 

In a more and more globalized world certain language trends develop, that is obvious. Even though I live in the the country of one of my mother tongues I have noticed – that due to the intensive usage of English (which is not one of my mother tongues) in every-day life, I tend to lack more and more words in my mother tongues. How can that be? Do others experience that, too? YES! And here is proven why:

The loss

Our globalizing world has many benefits, we all realize very well the benefit of being able to communicate with humans from other cultures. Unfortunately globalization is pressing his stamp on humanity. According to Oregon’s Living Tongues Institute, one of the world’s languages dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on earth will disappear, as young people abandon native tongues in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish as perfectly denoted  on Futurist Speaker.

The reason

The reason why globalization is interfering with the worlds languages is explained by Greg Yeutter, on his personal blog he claims that: For many people learning the English language represents a business opportunity.  As globalization increases, almost all business is becoming less localized.  Job opportunities solely in the local language are becoming limited as time goes on, and although not exactly fairly, English has been adopted as the tongue of international trade.  For many parents, teaching their children English is like future-proofing them against future economic situations. 

The explanation

Our  brain has the capability to store multiple languages, the only thing we humans have to be weary of is the fact that our brain can also forget languages. The writer of the blog At risk of losing native language skills claims that losing certain abilities in a mother tongue due to dominant use of a foreign language is referred to as first language attrition (FLA). It typically occurs among migrants who use the later-learned language in daily life.

FLA is a process caused by two factors:

  • The presence and development of the foreign language(s)
  • The diminished exposure to and use of the native language

There is still much unknown about the nature of language attrition. However, current research depicts that adult FLA firstly manifests itself in the lexicon, grammar and phonology seem to be affected in a later stage and language comprehension stays pretty much unaffected.

As I wanted to include trends and future development of my research topic I have decided to write about language extinction in my last post (for now). It was a great project to deal with languages, business and marketing over a longer period and I must admit that I have learnt a lot.

I hope you guys were all able to win something from my posts and enjoyed reading them.

Many thanks to every single member of my gorgeous BIZINGA! team. You are all super intelligent and adorable people and it was a pleasure to work with you!

Good luck to all of you.

xxxx

Viktoria

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