Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics. ~ Wikipedia ~
After writing on Tuesday about some of the truly Canadian slang words, I started thinking about language. Estimates are that there are between 6,000 and 7,000 spoken on Earth. According to an article published in National Geographic one of our world languages dies every 14 days. By this calculation in 100 years nearly half of the languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear because people are abandoning native languages in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish.
While searching for a Ted Talk this week I found two different takes on this situation. In the first video the speaker, Jay Walker argues that by speaking English as well as your native language you become a part of the greater World Community. In the second video Patricia Ryan argues that by giving too much weight to the English language we discourage non-English speakers from expanding their knowledge because the educational systems in the world equate intelligence with knowing English. I urge you to take the time to watch both of them and then make up your own mind.