Essay On Language Spread

1175 Words5 Pages
In this written task, I elaborate the factors that explain how languages spread across different parts of the world. To get background knowledge on this topic I found online articles including Chris McGreal’s “Why Rwanda said Adieu to French” from The Guardian which gave insight into the reasons why Rwanda converted from French to English and the impact that it has had on the spread of English. Furthermore, I looked at statistics on education in China, and the spread of English under the British rule. As well as this, I used some texts that we looked at in class, such as: “Linguistic Imperialism alive and kicking”, and how that affects language spread.

These articles are related to our classwork in “Language in Cultural Context”
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We have come a long way. In the initial stages of human existence, the first language was starting to take shape. Now, we are at a point where there are thousands of languages with multiple dialects. In this journey, many languages have perished, while some have survived and a few have flourished. Have you ever wondered how this transition took place? Many experts believe it is due to ‘language spread’.
According to Google, the spread of language is defined as, “an increase, over time, in the proportion of a communication…that adopts a given language…”. In other words, it is how quickly and extensively a form of communication is propagated in society.
Indicators such as the size of the population speaking the language and the geographical expanse across which it is spoken determine the ‘spread’ of the language. More people in the world speak Bangla than French but while the former is restricted to Eastern part of India and Bangladesh, the latter has a wider reach across the globe. In modern times, use of a language in Science, Technology, business and commerce contribute to its reach. ‘Spread’ in the virtual world through the internet (number of web pages available) and on social media is also a key
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