It is undeniable that English language is a powerful language. It is spoken in most part of the world especially in developed countries for instance the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. This is an inescapable process of globalization, the process of extending social relations across world-space. Globalization leads to the commonness of English in several fields such as science, technology, economy, politic etc. The result of this is English dominating the world and disregarding minority languages.
That is why English language is often named as “a killer language” that wipes out smaller languages and their cultures by exclusive use. The phenomenon of the exclusive use of English is caused by the attitude of a person or a community toward English. This attitude cannot be directly observed, it can be seen from the expression of positive or negative feeling toward it. This attitude may enable a language to grow and prosper or to decay and die.
In this case, while English as a global language is growing, other minority languages are dying. The prominent reason for English dominating the world is positive feeling of speakers toward it which reflects in degree of importance, elegance, and social status. For instance in the degree of importance, English holds an important role in education, technology, politic and economy. The speakers of it feel that it is important to be able to speak and understand English because a wide range of information is provided in English.
Beside there is a common believe in countries where English is spoken as a second or foreign language that knowing English makes people clever, to speak English is all we needed, when someone speaks English we think he is educated, when someone speaks English it creates a good impression for him, speaking English helps to get a job, people who speak English have more friends, people would like to be considered as a speaker of English, if they have children they want them to speak English, and they feel sorry for people who cannot speak English.
I myself also feel the same ways. Those kinds of feeling lead English become a dominating language on earth. The consequence of this attitude is English as international language will spread widely. English becomes such a need which is required to be fulfilled in today’s life. Everyone has to be able to understand English, both orally and written. While this is happening, on the other parts of the world there are some less powerful languages which are trying to survive or even dead.
Regarding to this phenomenon, UNESCO classifies languages as follows: When the number of people speaking a language is actively growing, it is considered healthy. When children are no longer taught a language, it is considered endangered. When a language is spoken by only a handful of elderly people, it is considered moribund. When no one at all speaks a language as a first language, it is considered extinct. It is so sad to know that from thousands of languages on earth; almost half of people of the world speak one of six dominant languages, English, Mandarin Chinese, Hindustani, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic.
The other small languages are left behind. It is very important to preserve languages in terms of protecting any cultures. If it not, the world will become monotonous. Even if English language is very influential, we should maintain our identity, our nationality, that we have our own language that we can be proud of. Language will just die if the people will obviously no longer use it, but preserving it is one way of showing to the whole world how united we are as a nation because language is a keystone of culture.
Courtney from Study Moose
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