There has not been a day with peace on this earth. We always hear about war, power, loss, and corruption. Every politicians wants the power, wants to change something for the better, or what they think is better, without knowing what the consequences are. In the article “Cachau Bant: Mind Your Language” Tom Law expresses his opinion about the way the England has forced the Welsh people to learn English and forgotten their own native language. I want to find out how Tom Law presents his arguments by analyzing them using the pentagon, and analyze and comment on how he uses history. Tom Law, the writer of the article, is a Welsh man who lives in Wales. He is very irritated and furious with England because they have forced the Welsh people to change their mother tongue to English. Throughout the article, he tries to persuade the reader to fight against England’s tyranny against other languages than English. Tom Law uses different strategies to convince the readers’ and gain their empathy. His main claim is that England is being tyrannical against the Welsh language, and that England has the power of one’s speech. He says, “It’s hard to give a toss about language when you’re an English speaker.
Because losing your language is not something you’ll ever have to worry about; thanks to the glory days of the British Empire.” (Law, Tom. Cachau Bant: Mind Your Language. Page 6 ll. 1-5). He has different grounds for his claim. The first ground is that language was a choice that England made for the Welsh people including Tom Law himself. They did not have the opportunity to choose for themselves, England made the choice for them. The other ground is that England thought that it was better for the Welsh people. Like mentioned earlier, Tom Law is irritated and furious with England, and we can especially see that in the way he writes. The language is informal, and the sentences are short, “The Welsh language has declined so rapidly because the English placed a pillow over its face and smothered it.” (P. 7 ll. 120-123).
He also uses a lot of irony, for example he says, “[…] the glory days of the British Empire. English is a dominant language- the third most common in the world. It’s a source of national pride- a gift to the planet.” That makes the reader feel that England is actually nothing but a small country that does not make a good difference for anybody if England does not get something good from it. His tone in the article is very negative; we can see that many places in text. One of the places is where he says, “It was done by England and it continues to tear the country apart, affecting every aspect of Welsh life.” (P.7 ll. 74-76) Another place in the text that shows that the tone is negative is when he says, “It’s the consequence of the state treating the Welsh language as a sickness which needed to be cured”. (P.8 ll. 135-137). The reason is that he is annoyed and angry with England.
Tom Law uses history as a device to show the reader that England has been causing loss and trouble in many other countries, and they are still causing loss and trouble. He says, “It has left non- Welsh speakers feeling like outsiders in their own country, forever left out in the cold and staring back in at history and culture they can’t access; at jobs they’re not qualified to do. For Welsh speakers, they have been battered from all sides, endlessly under attack, having to justify the use of their own language- mostly to fellow Welsh people.” (P.9 ll. 227-236) The article is characterized by pathos. “The “WN” initials were carved onto a plaque which school kids were made to wear around their neck if heard speaking Welsh in classroom. The pupil wearing the plaque at the end of the day would be beaten.” (P. 9 ll. 211-217) The reader will immediately feel sorry and get empathy for the Welsh people. He also uses logos, for example, he says that back in the 1840s, around 80 percent of people living in Wales spoke Welsh, and many of them spoke no English at all, and in the year 2011 had the number dropped down to below 20 percent.
When the reader reads this, Tom Law will gain some readers’ support, because is strengthens his argument. Furthermore, he also tries to engage the reader by asking questions “What can you do?” (P. 7 l.117) This question makes the reader to think about an answer to what we can do, and this makes a kind of community. Besides that, the article needs more ethos. He does not have any expert’s estimation to support his claims, and that causes that the grounds of his claims are weak. If he had some experts or some data, the ethos of the article would be stronger, and he would probably gain a lot more readers’ attention and support. Tom Law tries to reach support and empathy from people that has the same way of thinking.
He tries to convince people who feel the same hatred against England as him. He tries to persuade people who feel lost, because England was the one who caused a lot of loss in many countries. That is also the reason why he uses some of England’s history in the article, to reach the people who feels lost, the ones not knowing who they really are. That is his primary audience. The secondary audience is the nation of England. He is trying to tell England to, not to interfere in other countries’ language.
The intention of the article is that Tom Law tries to convince the reader to support his opinion. He wants England to stop interfering in other countries, and just keep their business in England. Tom Law’s tone is very negative towards England and he does not see it from the opposite side of the discussion. If he saw the discussion from both sides, the article would be more trustworthy, and he would win a lot more support. If England had not force many countries to change their native tongue or just taught other countries the language, another countries would have done it.. Actually, you should be thankful to England. If England did not do what is has done, today, we would not be able to understand each other.
Courtney from Study Moose
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