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Linguaholic

Mother Tongue of Immigrants Getting Lost in Future


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I noticed that many immigrants who have children in countries such as Canada and the United States, can't speak their mother tongue. Many don't want to learn and/or many have forgotten because they're used to speaking English. What do you think about this growing situation? Do you know your mother tongue? At the rate that the "New World" is going at, do you think that at some point in the far future everyone will be speaking the same language?

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I live in Canada and work with many immigrants that have children who were either born in Canada or came here very young. These colleagues of mine struggle a lot trying to get their children to speak their "mother tongue". They send their kids to weekend classes or try to schedule trips back to their home country. It seems most of the kids can understand the language fine, since they are exposed to it all the time, but many seem to have a much harder time speaking it.

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I think it just depends on how their parent will raise them. I have a cousin who was born and raised in the US but can speak our native language. My aunt make sure that it's the language she learned first. She knows that my cousin can still learn english in school and since they live in the US she can constantly hear it and that will make it easier for her to learn.

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I noticed that many immigrants who have children in countries such as Canada and the United States, can't speak their mother tongue. Many don't want to learn and/or many have forgotten because they're used to speaking English. What do you think about this growing situation? Do you know your mother tongue? At the rate that the "New World" is going at, do you think that at some point in the far future everyone will be speaking the same language?

In your last sentence, what does "everyone" mean? Everyone in North America, or the world? Even if it's the former, I don't think it'll get to the point where everyone will be speaking the same language. It's just not realistic. Unless there's a similar event to the Ice Age, then maybe.

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I can still speak my native language, but I have to admit, my Chinese has gotten a lot worse (or it hasn't improved at all). In a way, I feel guilty, and that's why I decided to start studying Chinese again. I feel like people shouldn't lose their mother tongue because it's part of who they are.  :shy:

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This is something I'm anticipating when I start having children. I can't really fault people who are born elsewhere, forgetting their parent/s' mother tongue, especially if they can only talk in that language with 2-3 people. My mother actually speaks another dialect originally and hasn't even tried teaching me because of the same reason and because most people where I live speak Tagalog. It would be nice if we live maybe in a community with many Filipinos although I'm not really that bothered about it.

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I know a lot of Chinese Canadians below 25 who can hardly speak a word of their ancestral language and I guess this trend will just continue.

It's pretty sad but language loss in immigrant communities is a worldwide trend. I'm willing to bet that Arnold Schwarzenegger's children cannot speak Austrian German at all! (Or else have a very limited fluency in it).

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I noticed that many immigrants who have children in countries such as Canada and the United States, can't speak their mother tongue. Many don't want to learn and/or many have forgotten because they're used to speaking English. What do you think about this growing situation? Do you know your mother tongue? At the rate that the "New World" is going at, do you think that at some point in the far future everyone will be speaking the same language?

I actually started a thread on the world adopting one language.  I think it is inevitable and will be more efficient.  It is a shame that the Mother tongues are going to go extinct but if you think about it, it really makes no sense to have all these languages.  I do know my Mother tongue and I know two other languages as well and I would not be saddened to learn that two of the three are to go extinct. 

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In your last sentence, what does "everyone" mean? Everyone in North America, or the world? Even if it's the former, I don't think it'll get to the point where everyone will be speaking the same language. It's just not realistic. Unless there's a similar event to the Ice Age, then maybe.

I mean everyone as in the world. It may not seem like a realistic thing now, but because of immigration and time-space convergence the world seems to be getting closer than it was before. People are losing languages because English is becoming more predominant; a majority of the world is attempting to learn English rather than other languages. There are those few cases in North America that people attempt to learn other languages other than English. Languages will be lost along the line somewhere in the far future I believe and it's saddening.

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I mean everyone as in the world. It may not seem like a realistic thing now, but because of immigration and time-space convergence the world seems to be getting closer than it was before. People are losing languages because English is becoming more predominant; a majority of the world is attempting to learn English rather than other languages. There are those few cases in North America that people attempt to learn other languages other than English. Languages will be lost along the line somewhere in the far future I believe and it's saddening.

I don't think something like that will happen for hundreds of years. Even if there was an event that involved an Alexander or a Hitler attempting to assimilate international cultures, popular languages like the plethora of Indian dialects and Oriental dialects would probably not die out.

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I would disagree that immigrants are losing their mother tongues. I work with kids, many of whom are foreign. Their parents still mainly speak their mother tongue and struggle with english. Due to this, their kids learn english in school, but still learn their mother tongue at home. It actually works out for the kids because they get to become bilingual naturally.

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