View Poll Results: What do you think of the fact that languages are dying out?

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  • It's a good thing.

    9 18.75%
  • It's a bad thing.

    5 10.42%
  • It's a little of both.

    20 41.67%
  • It's neither.

    12 25.00%
  • I don't know.

    2 4.17%
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Thread: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

  1. #1
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    Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    I haven't seen a thread on this and thought it was kind of interesting.

    There was a report recently that up to half of the world's currently spoken languages are in danger of dying out in the next century. Here's an article about it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/wo...-language.html

    The article paints it as a bad thing, but I'm not so sure it is. Fewer languages being spoken around the world means communication with other people gets easier.

    What do you think?
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Both bad and good. You lose a lot of culture and history, as well as an unique perspective when a language dies. Anyone who can speak a second or third language can tell you that there are noticeable differences between even similar languages that have an influence on you and your thinking in odds ways. From sayings that are specific to one language, to word plays and puns that are language specific, to even how you approach problem solving when thinking in different languages. It's fascinating stuff.

    At the same time it's nice to be able to communicate with everyone regardless of their nationality.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Personally, I don't care.

    But, yea, some culture is lost with that. However, initiatives have been launched to preserve dying languages in audio files and so on, so there's that.
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Well, I've never been in a situation where being fluent in Swahili was critical. People still learn "dead" languages like latin, out of fascination or to prove whatever. I don't see this as a massive loss.

    Culture is more than language, and it's inevitable that global connection with the internet and faster travel means a few or even just one language will dominate in the future. If i meet someone from Sweden, either we both can speak english or it's going to be inefficient as hell. Why? Cause the 2-3 Swedes i'll ever meet is not sufficient reason to learn Swedish. It's just a pain in the ass. Better off learning Spanish or Mandarin.

    From Swedish point of view, there's plenty reason to learn English though. It's to the point my friend says if he has kids he won't bother teaching them Swedish. That's usually how anything related to culture becomes extinct. People stop caring to make the effort to preserve it. It's not worth lamenting when it's self induced.

  5. #5
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Dying languages need to be preserved.
    Just like useless seeds need to be saved and some people should learn to forge weld, tie knots, and use an abacus and slide rule.
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Sounds like a natural evolution to me.

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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    I haven't seen a thread on this and thought it was kind of interesting.

    There was a report recently that up to half of the world's currently spoken languages are in danger of dying out in the next century. Here's an article about it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/wo...-language.html

    The article paints it as a bad thing, but I'm not so sure it is. Fewer languages being spoken around the world means communication with other people gets easier.

    What do you think?
    Living in a small country with a native Maori population that is desperately holding onto their language (even lobbying to make it mandatory to dual label things at schools, etc.) I think that a language dying out is no big deal. Of course I am an insensitive white male from America who speaks the dominant English language... but why people would care is beyond me. It is easier to communicate, get around, order take-out and watch movies. In all honesty if the entire world went to French or Mandarin I wouldn't care either...
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  8. #8
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    Dying languages need to be preserved.
    Just like useless seeds need to be saved and some people should learn to forge weld, tie knots, and use an abacus and slide rule.
    All abacus's need to be burned...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

  9. #9
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by chromium View Post
    Well, I've never been in a situation where being fluent in Swahili was critical. People still learn "dead" languages like latin, out of fascination or to prove whatever. I don't see this as a massive loss.
    I deal with international students from Europe, South America and Japan, mostly, and almost all the students speak, or want to speak, English well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

  10. #10
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    Re: Languages are going extinct. Good, bad, or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    All abacus's need to be burned...
    Never could get it to work for ya, huh?
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