Name: Jung, Seowon
Instructor: Luukia Archer
Language is an ability to create and using language is the most distinctive feature of humans. Each language holds a history and culture, giving identity and roots. Yet, worldwide, 4 languages die every two months. Of the 6,000 languages known, only 3,000 will be left by the end of the 21st century. Even though there is a lot of language in this universe, nobody knows the origin of language. Of course we couldn’t live without language, but what we know is that the language was from the event of the Babel Tower. Many linguists have studied its origin and how it was made. Many animal and even plant species communicate with each other. Humans are not unique in this capability. However, human language is unique in being a symbolic communication system that is learned instead of biologically inherited. However, the most important thing is language and speech are not the same thing and language and speech have affected our culture, life and development of technologies.
Common culture and common language facilitate trade between individuals. Individuals have incentives to learn the other languages and cultures so that they have a larger pool of potential trading partners. The value of assimilation is larger to an individual from a small minority than to one from a large minority group. When a society has a very large majority of individuals from one culture, individuals from minority groups will be assimilated more quickly. Assimilation is less likely when an immigrant’s native culture and language are broadly represented in his or her new country. Also, when governments protect minority interests directly, incentives to be assimilated into the majority culture are reduced. In a pluralistic society, a government policy that encourages diverse cultural immigration over concentrated immigration is likely to increase the welfare of the native population. Sometimes, policies that subsidize assimilation and the acquisition of majority language skills can be socially beneficial. The theory is tested and confirmed by examining U.S. census data, which reveal that the likelihood that an immigrant will learn English is inversely related to the proportion of the local population that speaks his or her native language.
America is a country of many races and cultures, and with each passing year, more health care providers are recognizing the challenge of caring for patients from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Health care professionals and managers must have a basic understanding of the impact of language and culture on health care delivery in order to efficiently organize services that meet the needs of both the institution and a diverse patient population. According to Veronica, “Hawaiian was an oral language. The 19th century missionaries, however, were supposed to teach their converts to read the Bible, and created a writing system with an alphabet of only twelve letters for words of indigenous Hawaiian origin. The Hawaiian language became the language of the government, remained the most commonly used language in daily life, and was used between the numerous different ethnic groups who had all arrived here to work the plantations. The alphabets were later expanded to allow for two unique characteristics in the Hawaiian word that the missionaries had missed. (2008)”
Hawaiian remains the languages of the heart and soul. The languages sways like a palm tree in a gentle wind. Their words are as melodious as a love song. Hawaiian is a Polynesian language spoken throughout the inhabited Hawaiian Islands. In the nineteenth century it became a written language and was the language of the Hawaiian government and the people. With the subjugation of Hawaii under the rule of the United States in 1898, Hawaiian was supplanted and English became the official language. Hawaiian was a dying language. Fortunately, today it is experiencing a rebirth through courses of study and the Hawaiian people’s general interest in their roots. In 1978, Hawaiian was re-established as an official language of the State of Hawaii and, in 1990, the federal Government of the United States adopted a policy to recognize the right of Hawaii to preserve, use, and support their indigenous language. Since 1970, “Olelo Hawaii”, or the Hawaiian language, has undergone a tremendous revival, including the rise of language immersion schools. The cultural revitalization that Hawaiians are now experiencing and transmitting to their children is a reclamation of their own past (Alternative-Hawaii, 2002).
In conclusion, many languages have been disappeared including Hawaiian. One of reasons is that some countries are trying to cross out languages of their colonies. Why wouldn’t they want to see the people who talk in their language in their colony? Because, the languages could affect economy activities, diplomacy, national defense as well as culture; and the culture can affect everything of people in a country.
Veronica S. Schweitzer, Olelo Hawaii, Oct 1997, Coffee Times,
Ala Mua Hawaii 2002, Aug 2008, Alternative Hawaii,