英語発音矯正・英語学校  ザ ジングルズ


SAVING JAPANESE(We CAN Save Earth! Installment 455)


Dialects can survive only if their source language survives.












Dialects can survive only if their source language survives.

Dear Fellow Earthlings,

A great many Japanese people that I know speak fondly of the various Japanese dialects that are disappearing so rapidly. Can anything be done to save them?

But a bigger question is this? Can anything be done to save Japanese? In this era of globalization and standardization, dialects are melting away as quickly as are Earth’s glaciers. As the dialects of a given language melt away, the phonome of that language concomitantly sinks into the ocean of globalization.

All over the world languages such as Russian, Spanish, English, Chinese, and French are, on the face of it, merely experiencing a drop in the number of their dialects. The languages themselves appear to be thriving. But closer observation will note that, with the passage of time, languages change so much, that — in the final analysis — they are no longer the same languages that they used to be.

As dialects disappear, the language of which they form constituent parts, loses a great deal of the vitality it formerly had. When this happens, then it becomes easier than ever for loan words from other languages to replace traditional words as well as the semantic, syntactical, and phonological rules rules that govern those words. As the language changes, its roles in the society at large become limited, contributing further to its eventual abandonment as the community phonome of its former native speakers.

In much the same manner as people in the Falkland Islands are losing their dialect (See Installment 86.), speakers of Japanese are seeing all of their dialects coalesce into a single Japanese dialect. This in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, for it tends to make Japanese from all parts of Japan feel more affinity toward one another.

However, this loss of dialectal variation is part and parcel of the “loss of vitality” Japanese is experiencing. This loss of immunity to invasion by foreign languages (such as English) leaves the Japanese people grasping not for straws, but for “katakana” words to express themselves in a language which they are coming to believe is archaic and arcane.

Just remember! Replacing one’s mother tongue characteristics with those of one or more other languages does nothing but accelerate the rate at which that mother tongue moves toward oblivion!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, AI offers hope that languages can have computer back-up and can be taught by computers programmed to maintain the vitality and diversity of these languages so that their life spans can be increased exponentially.

Steve Walker
Earthsaver and Jingles Creator

英語の発音 ザジングルズ
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レベル87 発音筋肉国際編