Tag Archives: politics

Languages and politics

When they’re discussing, each politician is one of a kind. But if they’re talking about languages there is a solely voice.

Caught from Commons (File:Languages of Europe.png). Public domain.
The map shows the main languages spoken in Europe, although it isn’t accurate and forgets many minority languages and dialects.

Our planet hosts more than 6,900 languages today. Despite the people who think that the most of them should be forgotten as soon as possible, every language supports a unique culture, history and lifestyle. I may argue this stance in the future, though not today. Now I want to talk about the main weapon to divide modern western countries: languages.  It’s sad to turn on the television and watch how many politicians use a language as a way to get elected. Probably they don’t know or even don’t care the damage they cause. It’s obvious that a language is highly linked with a people group, but the word ‘people’ differs from others such as ‘nation’, ‘country’ and ‘state’. Politicians often mix them all in a hodge-podge to connect a language with an independence movement, while that situation hadn’t always occurred previously. By the way, even if it had already happened, the political speech promotes hatred and a sense of self-defense which isn’t justified at all. Of course, the reaction of the ‘opposite’ groups is the same.

There is a more incensing thing yet. It happens when a language is sliced in thin pieces which remind of private terrains. Regarding linguistics, there is no reason to parcel them, since they are part of the same whole. Of course I’m talking about groups of ‘languages’ or ‘dialects’ which form the same language as for linguists, while politicians have decided they’re actually different. Sadly, the people who speak just one of them don’t recognize that they speak a ‘dialect’, though I know that this term is arguable. Conversely to it, they react against the other dialects speakers, because their politicians have sown an evil seed deep inside of them.

Anyway, my final blaming is for the native speakers of minority languages and dialects within a country. A bunch of them are embarrassed because they speak a minority language, and a handful of them don’t even want to learn their kinship’s tongue. Others want to impose their minority native language over all of their comrades. Too often, all of these stances lead to extremisms.  The key points are just the tolerance and the easiness. It doesn’t look that difficult, does it?