I heard an interesting talk on the radio this morning. The speakers discussed the future of regional dialects if the globalization stays in place.
Globalization is a system based on the interconnections of different aspects: economic, political, cultural, linguistic and environmental. This system is capable to make irrelevant the existing boarders and boundaries. Globalization aims to standardize and harmonize processes and communications. This means also that few languages are used as standard for communication and this marginalizes the role of local and regional languages in the society and economic context. In other words, as the world economy becomes more integrated, a common tongue has become more important than ever to promote commerce, and this reduces the use of regional dialects and minority languages creating a distinct disadvantage for those ones. Furthermore, telecommunications have pressured the languages to become more standardized and affecting local variations of language.
Local languages are the synthesis of the evolution of both community and history. I strongly believe those are an asset for the people because remind them where they came from and make the community stronger because it is a shared value between individuals. Dialects are beautiful to hear because characterized by a mix of ancient and modern words and the sound is also influenced by different cultures. Examples are in any country around the world (E.g. Italy, Spain, China, Arabic countries, Balkans).
Globalization is also supported by internet and, of course, social media, which users have reviewed words to fit sms, tweets, emails and this has been transforming the good writing in a loss of art.
Because people wants learn English for the reasons explained above, the English native speakers are not fully motivated to learn a second language.
The communication is crucial for the human being and If a common language allows an easy communication with people around the world, this is welcome for me but, on the other hand, the scholastic programs must protect local languages making them part of the education in order to avoid the language’s standardization and the loss of an important part of national history and patrimony. Maintaining and protecting local languages help people and, specifically, children to value and appreciate the own culture and heritage. For people working abroad and for who lost they native language, they risk to lose also the link with family and native community.
For all the reasons reported above, it is extremely important do not be short-sighted on this topic and work all together to protect local languages and dialects and increase their usage.