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There is less linguistic diversity today because very few new languages are being created, while older ones continue to die out. It is a challenge to maintain linguistic diversity in a world that is increasingly more interconnected.
How are France and Germany trying to safeguard their languages?
In France, they are trying to save French by banning words like “le chewing gum”, which are not originally French but, in this case, are taken from English. Germany too is trying to ban words. The German Minister of Transport is attempting to ban words like “laptop” and “ticket”. They hope to purify their languages of the influence of English, thus maintaining their identity.
Why is the verb “to google” likely to survive, according to Professor Willis?
The verb “to google” is so established that it is no longer tied to its brand, but is an autonomous word. Thus, Willis argues, even if the Google company fails, the word will remain in use.
What does the creation of new words in a language show us?
The fact that new words are being created shows us that the language is alive. Professor Willis says, “If it doesn’t change, then it’s dead”.
The article in The Independent talks about languages, focusing especially on English. English is a growing language, and new words are constantly being added. Some argue that growth in language is connected to growth in other areas. Since we are in the Electronic Revolution, and there are many new things being developed, new words are naturally developed as well. Also, a language has a good chance of changing and continuing if it is in contact with other languages and cultures. Though English is growing, other languages are dying out. Linguistic diversity is becoming increasingly challenging as very few new languages are being created. Though some countries are trying to preserve their languages by banning English words, the trend seems impossible to reverse. New words continue to be created in English and, while some may be short-lived, others have achieved a lasting quality. New words are a sign that a language is alive.
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