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The next thing to go extinct?

Naimul Hasan

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It has been part of humanity’s life for centuries and decades. It has allowed humanity to make such significant progress because of it, but some are dying or lost.

Languages are something that many might not consider the most important factor of one’s life. However, languages are an essential thing for one’s life every day.

Many languages are becoming, or already are, endangered, and many are going to be extinct. Nearly half of the languages spoken today are predicted to go extinct by the end of this century.

What one of the most common reason languages are dying is because of the worldwide globalization or assimilation. Assimilation causes indigenous people to forget their old culture, tradition, and language and instead learn the new culture and language that the dominant people consider “civilized.” As assimilation grows people become less aware of their mother tongue, fear to speak it in public, and teach it to the next generation, eventually leading the language to die or to be forgotten. At the current moment, the top three languages that are spoken or taught are Chinese, Spanish, and English, based on infoplease.

Ms. Barber, a History teacher at NYC iSchool, states that languages are dying because there are more “usages of the dominant languages.” This means that the people use languages such as Chinese more than other languages in order to avoid being outcasts. She adds on to say languages are dying because “of lack of documentation on the language and guide on how to practice it.”

At first glance, a particular language may not seem to be dying, but as time passes the death rate increases exponentially.

Aidan Bianchi, an iSchool sophomore, states that communications allow “us to communicate, to express and create beauty.” This is, in fact, true because language is the transportation device for humans on expressing ideas or creativity to others.

However, it is possible to argue that every language allows one to communicate and express the same idea but in different ways. The problem that might arise is that every language has its structure and beauty, and that will take a long time for one to get used to.

Freshman Victoria Kapusta suggests that one of the ways to save language is to “record them in audio or video form, or have documentation of it on how to practice it.” These methods would be effective because it would make languages easier for people to learn, while also hearing the pronunciation of it.

There are already organizations that are trying to preserve language by bringing native speakers and documenting them. For example, programs such as ELA (Endangered Language Alliance) are preserving language by bringing people that knows how to speak a certain language and record the communication style and maps where the majority of the languages are spoken in New York City.

Overall, language is an essential factor in everyone’s lives because it allows us to communicate, but without it, humanity would have been able to make such significant progress. However, it is important to consider that while we are advancing, the languages are dying out faster and needs to be preserved.

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The next thing to go extinct?