Due to globalization and other factors many languages are disappearing with other languages being used by more and more people. Do you see this as a positive or negative development?
There is little doubt that if we all spoke the same language, many things would become easier. There would not be any problems in communication and, because of this, trade would be easier as everybody would understand what exactly was being bought and sold. Education would be simpler, and schools and universities would not have to waste precious resources on language departments. Emigration would also be simpler as people wishing to move to another country would not have to go through the onerous burden of learning and being tested on a second language.
However, it is a generally accepted view that a country’s history and culture is contained within its language and it can, therefore, be argued that if a native language disappears, so does the nation’s uniqueness. Inevitably, this results in places becoming very similar with the emergence of generic fast food restaurants, drinks and universal clothing brands. Everything becomes rather bland and boring. One of the joys of life is discovering different places, learning new languages and ways, and it would be tragic if, by language globalization, all these opportunities disappeared.
One cannot stop people adopting a language that is going to offer them opportunities to enhance their standard of living and give them better job prospects. This must be a good thing. However, if the first language is discarded, then the individual is the poorer. We have all been fashioned by our history, language and culture and if this is lost, then we all suffer. A balance between embracing the new and protecting the old is the most desirable and then any changes that occur need not be regarded as either wholly positive or negative.