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A Loss for Words Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 5:00:00 AM
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A Loss for Words

The consequences of losing a language may not be understood until it is too late. It is a singular fate to be the last of one's kind. That is the fate of the men and women, nearly all of them elderly, who are ... More...
hedy mmm
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:00:48 AM

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Thank you, Daemon, this is an awesome article. I am sharing this with my 10 yr. old grandson who is learning a second language with me...I encourage him at every opportunity, we do TFD Hangman together during our "Hangout Time", which he lovingly calls it...where he drinks in knowledge. He loves to read and is doing well in school. It is articles like this that make TFD worth being part of. Applause
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:51:04 AM
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People of goodwill can have an honest difference of opinion.

I personally agree with people who say that the disappearance of languages is NOT necessarily a bad thing.

For example, if the young people in Alaska wish to speak English instead of their indigenous languages, we should respect their choice.

We should not spend taxpayers' money trying to save languages that the young do not want to use. (Of course, what people do for a hobby and at their own expense is no one else's business.)

I agree that we would have a much more peaceful and harmonious world if everyone spoke the same language. It takes a lifetime just to learn the various nuances of one's native language, let alone the nuances of another language.

Of course, there will never be just one language. At the very least, however, we should let unused languages die a peaceful death.
Wanderer
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 9:44:48 AM

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I think the loss of language is the loss of human experience. Words mean so much, which is why we use dictionaries. I was thinking about the word love and how it has lost meaning. We say I love peanut butter and I love my husband, or I love my country and I love my children. Just one word to describe greatly differing emotions. We are losing more than language, we are losing understanding and the ability to communicate.
hedy mmm
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:14:18 AM

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Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
The Parser wrote:
For example, if the young people in Alaska wish to speak English instead of their indigenous languages, we should respect their choice.

We should not spend taxpayers' money trying to save languages that the young do not want to use. (Of course, what people do for a hobby and at their own expense is no one else's business.)

So, I guess you don't know why we have languages....ever learn about the tower of Bable (Bavel meaning confusion)?
You could find it in the Bible in Genesis 11:1-9

Learning is the key....My grandson and I learned sign language when he was 3 yrs. old in ONE WEEK. We are neither mute or deaf and he was criticized for learning it by 'idiots'. He used that skill when I brought him to a friend of mine who is mute and they had a conversation....my grandson learned WHY learning is so important. He speaks Spanish, not fluently yet, and picks up words and phrases in Italian and German....his heritage.

Yes, respect choices.
. Whistle
pedro
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:35:49 AM
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We will be extinct one day.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:43:28 AM

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Hmm, just some random thoughts on the subject. Is an experience described in one language better than when described in another? Is the experience different, or just the understanding of the listener/reader?

In other words, does the language with the most words, the most nuances of meaning convey the experience better, or is the simpler language, which must be added onto in meaning and understanding by its listener/reader, better convey the ideas?

Is it language itself that is important, or is it communication? I would submit it is communication that is paramount, and the language that allows the best, most accurate communication is the better language to use. Even at that, there will be misunderstandings since not everyone will share the same definitions for all words at all times.

Individual experiences will also color the perceptions and understanding of the words used, along with a host of other biases, many of which might be unconsciously influential.

To save a language simply for the sake of saving it, may seem a worthy goal to some, but I wonder how important such an endeavor might be in the overall scheme of things. If it is communication that is the goal, then the evolution of language to one of better communication would seem to be the ideal.

The loss of simpler, less accurate languages with fewer words, carrying a plethora of meanings, seems, somehow, a small price to pay if it helps us to understand one another better. This, of course, will carry little import for those whose sense of nostalgia is highly developed. There is, however, little harm in retaining a cadre of folks who enjoy such pursuits.
hedy mmm
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2015 11:59:11 PM

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[u]FounDIt[/u] wrote:
Hmm, just some random thoughts on the subject. Is an experience described in one language better than when described in another? Is the experience different, or just the understanding of the listener/reader?

In other words, does the language with the most words, the most nuances of meaning convey the experience better, or is the simpler language, which must be added onto in meaning and understanding by its listener/reader, better convey the ideas?

.....To save a language simply for the sake of saving it, may seem a worthy goal to some, but I wonder how important such an endeavor might be in the overall scheme of things. If it is communication that is the goal, then the evolution of language to one of better communication would seem to be the ideal.

The loss of simpler, less accurate languages with fewer words, carrying a plethora of meanings, seems, somehow, a small price to pay if it helps us to understand one another better. This, of course, will carry little import for those whose sense of nostalgia is highly developed. There is, however, little harm in retaining a cadre of folks who enjoy such pursuits.

Dear FounDIt,
You are so right....in my experience and studies of various languages there is no proper translation. In Hebrew some words have several meanings, and/or cannot be translated because many more words would be needed to express the particular word, for eg...."...and Adam knew Eve and bore a son"....the word used in English, 'knew' in Hebrew means Adam was 'intimate/had intercourse' with Eve....not quite 'knew' in English.....so, to learn the origin gives proper meaning to the text.

In Spanish, you may say, 'Te quiero' or 'Te amo', although both may mean 'I love you'...the translation in English for 'quiero' is 'want'....kind of loses its meaning and does not convey the idea. There are also written words that are misinterpreted such as in our US Constitution, "Separation between church and state"...it DOES NOT mean what it has come to be!

Verbal language, I agree, ".... there is little harm in retaining a cadre of folks who enjoy such pursuits".

Thank you for your (not so) random thoughts... Applause
Samantha Betts
Posted: Monday, April 13, 2015 1:15:29 PM

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Location: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
I love driving precisely because I suffer from travel sicknessSilenced and driving is the only way I can cope with traveling
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