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Linguaholic

How the Internet is killing the world’s languages


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If you have 5 minutes, please read the following newspaper article about: "How the Internet is klilling the world's languages".

Pretty sad, isn't it?  :frozen:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/12/04/how-the-internet-is-killing-the-worlds-languages/

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The argument seems fallacious to me. "Failure" suggests an unsuccessful attempt. But we have been suggesting other reasons why some languages might not show an internet presence. Some of these factors (having relatively small numbers of speakers, living in remote parts of poor countries) might themselves be correlated with language endangerment; but the internet itself has nothing to do with it.

The bottom line is that there is nothing intrinsic to the internet that prevents anyone from using any language they want on it.

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This is what will kill languages:

. . .and, finally, the younger generation forgets it all together.

However the writer did make some specious statements. In sub-saharan Africa for example, there are not a few thousand speakers who have yet to get online but millions . . .  and those who do, still speak their native languages. (I did some voluntary aid work in Sudan so I know a bit about Africa).

But considering the fact that French people are getting to use English words more and more . . . there's that remote possibility that some languages will die off eventually.

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I think that a language is just a form of communication and if I were to choose between using an old, difficult and unproductive language just because of the cultural value and a simple, worldwide language, I would choose the second. I like languages, I like tracking back the meaning of words in order to better understand them, but most of all I'd like to be able to communicate, understand and be understood.

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When I started surfing the web, somehow I felt that English was the sort of "official language" of the web and, throughout the time I have sadly seen how English is taking over all languages, either distorting other languages or substituting those that are rarely used.

Like the article said, I doubt many people talk in Cherokee, but still it's sad to see languages disappear thanks to the Internet.

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I don't know if it's a sad situation or not, for me the main goal is that people are able to communicate with each other, so if everyone is using English online, no problem by me. Sad just from the perspective of people that don't speak English.

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Interesting article, but I believe the internet has simply sped up globalization, generally colonization just spreads the language of the conquerers and if young people grow up in an environment they'll learn whatever the dominant language in that culture is. I don't agree that the internet is the one big thing killing languages, languages like latin died way before the internet was created.

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I totally agree that the internet has somewhat killed the different languages of the world.  Not only that, I really think the shortcuts that the internet has introduced will lead the younger generations not to know the proper way of spelling words.  The internet has definitely created its own language.

Even words like "unfriend" did not exist in the past but now because of Facebook, it has become a normal word that almost everyone understands.

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I don't agree that the languages are being killed, that is not true. People who use computers communicate more in English online and that's pretty much it, all the other people carry on with their normal lives...

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I agree with Gelsemium. It may become true once the internet gets really integrated in a global scale, but as of now, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and I doubt the effects will be visible now or in the next few years. I think the only way this would happen is when even the less industrialized countries become connected, but even then I think there will always be support for ones own language in one way or another.

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