This reality is clear in a largely globalized society, especially given the dominance of English at all levels of life. Bangla is the most widely spoken language in Bangladesh. Small communities, forced to compete in a global market, must acquire the main languages — and occasionally give up their mother tongue. Most linguists believe that 90 percent of the world’s languages will be extinct by 2100.
- 21st February celebrate as International Mother Language Day to raise awareness of cultural diversity, linguistics, and multilingualism.
- Despite the importance of language, some languages are on the verge of extinction
- When a language is lost, cultural heritage is lost as well.
Chak (Sak), Asho Chin, Pangkhua, Megam, Bawm, Atong, Khasi, Kurux, and Mizo are among the languages of ethnic minorities in Bangladesh that are currently considered endangered. Even though we all share a geographical boundary with people who identify these languages as their native tongues, we rarely consider the possibility that many of these languages will vanish right in front of our eyes, despite our strong belief in the importance of mother tongues.
Some may wonder why it matters if these languages die out as long as we have some means of communication. Take note, language influences not just how we think, but also how we perceive, feel, and experience the world. If individuals begin to think of their language as useless in the face of modernization and a dominant global language, they begin to conceive of their identities in the same manner. The tragic events of 1952 come to mind once more.
We must never repeat history by crushing others’ languages to preserve our own. We should do our utmost to maintain languages and people linked with them in the spirit of our Language Movement, because keeping them also means protecting our harmony and, most importantly, our diversity.