Motivating a New Generation

“The key to revitalizing a language is by motivating a new generation of speakers.”

To revive a language is definitely a difficult task, in some cases maybe even impossible, but I must admit that I agree with this quote. If we want to save a lost, or almost lost, language, we have to turn to the youth. Take for example the native inhabitants of the US. They once had their own language, not to mention their own culture, until the Brits arrived and forced their language and customs on the Natives. Today almost no descendants of the Native Americans speak their mother tongue. However, if we want to revive the language, I also believe we have to bring life back to the culture surrounding the language. It will make no difference to teach the new generation a language if they do not have a reason for using it.

So revitalizing a language is not just revitalizing the words, but the meaning behind them. I do understand why some people chose to abandon their mother tongue. If no on else is even able to understand it, it makes no sense to keep talking it. Which is exactly why, if we want to save the languages, we have to not only motivate the descendants of the native speakers but also outsiders. Again with the example in the US. Teaching the Natives is not enough if we want to encourage them to speak it. We have to encourage as many as possible.

 

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