K. David Harrison's When Languages Die

1758 Words8 Pages
Imagine a country with no record of its history. No pictures, video recordings, textbooks nor documentation of what has happened in the past. A country where there are no traditions being passed on from generation to generation. The only people who can remember their countries past are those still alive to tell the stories of the past. This is what is happening today with the extinction of languages, Author K. David Harrison wrote “When Languages Die”. In this book he goes into the damage that the death of a language has on society and the world. With the death of a language comes the death of history, folk tales, farming rituals, religious rituals, medicinal plants and knowledge of the land and its resources. Language is not only a form to communicate with others in the community but it allows people to share cultural…show more content…
In my opinion unless the newer generations begin to take interest in these langauges they will die off. Even if linguist begin to record the languages and transfer them into written form there are many times words that can not be transferred over. Relecting on what I have reading in “ How Languages Die”, the information presented by the author makes you think about all the knowledge that may have been lost because no one learned the languages who had the information. There could have been medicinal plant cures to thousands of diseases which doctors and phamecetutical companies will never have acess to because those people who carried the information passed away. People are beginning to recognize that languages can package knowledge in radically different ways, thus facilitating different ways of conceptualizing, naming and discussing the world (Harrison, p.59). More people need to become aware of the damage that is being done to society and the world. After the death of each language comes the death of valuable cultural traditions and
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