90% Of World’s Languages Extinct In 41 Years

Tower of Babel

From NetEase:

University Professor: In 41 years, 90% of mankind’s languages will disappear!

In 41 years, 90% of mankind’s languages will disappear! Yesterday (10th), Southwest University for Nationalities College of Liberal Arts professor and famous poet Luo Qing Chun made these shocking remarks as a guest on 《成都故事百家谈》 [“Chengdu Story 100 Family Talk”], while expressing his hopes for establishing a “language museum.”

3% of the entire world’s population speaks 96% of the world’s languages

“Of over 6000 different languages in the world, at least 3000 face the risk of disappearing. A report predicts that by 2050, 90% of human languages will have disappeared from the earth.” UNESCO representative “bi si ta” [a Chinese version of foreign name] pointed out during “the 2008 international language year and the 9th international mother language day” forum that declining minority languages are under attack from more dominant languages, the internet, and even globalization, and are now under the threat of extinction.

According to statistics, there are more than 6,000 languages registered by the United Nations, and the languages that 97% of the world’s people use only make up 4% of the world’s total languages — that is to say, 3% of the world’s population speak 96% of the world’s languages. In addition, half of languages are spoken by less than 10,000 people, and 1/4 of the languages are spoken by less than 1000 people. In China, there are 5 language families with over 130 different languages, but currently 19 languages show signs of being endangered and lacking vitality, while 73 kinds are trending towards becoming or are endangered, and 8 languages have totally lost social function.

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Internet accelerating language extinction

“Protection for languages that cannot be replaced should receive the attention of the world’s people in the same way as endangered species and global warming,” said Wang Tie Kun, the deputy director of language information management for the Ministry of Education.

In regards to this, the honorary president of the China Languages Society, Sun Hong Kai, said the reasons behind weakening minority languages are related to global economic integration, communication, media and information technology development, the increasing interaction between ethnic groups, etc. Inner Mongolia University vice-principal, specializing in the research of the Hogjilt [a place in Inner Mongolia] minority language, believes that the use of the internet is the primary cause of acceleration of the demise of ethnic languages.

Similar viewpoints are also found in a UNESCO report. This report indicates that although high technology has brought greater convenience in people’s lives, it is also accelerating the “extinction” of some languages, resulting in the tendancy for the world’s languages uniting into one, and causing all of the worlds language characters to become the same and the destruction of language diversity.

At the time of current analysis with languages circumstances of existence and extinction, Luo Qing Chun believes that it is necessary through various means to protect language, through education, Media and many other forms. He proposes carrying out protection measures for mother languages through the creation of museums, artifact exhibitions, costume and performances, family museums, private collecions, etc.

From NetEase:

Don’t tell me that you miss the languages of the “ape-man” times~!!

Chinese also will soon vanish, replaced by English.

Language is only for the purpose of convenient communication, one kind is enough.

just with the level of importance attached to English in China’s current education system, Chinese is in perilous danger~~

Chinese is about to disappear… everyone is learning English…

Chinese will always exist.

Having so many languages is a barrier to human communication,
just like there are many people within the country who don’t speak Putonghua [Mandarin].
It would be best if the entire world used a common language.

[A language] becoming extinct would still be a pity.

What should die out should die out…an single common language would be a good thing…too many languages only bring inconvenience to communications.

I support the “lou zhu.”

Personally, this is like a sign of civilization’s progress.
Of course, building a language museum to protect the material of some extinct or near-extinct languages is also necessary.

同一个世界同一种语言![One world one language!]

I also have something to say: Right now, the ratio of men is unceasingly increasing. In 99 years, the world will only have one type of people — men.

If China can become the dominant world economy, Chinese will also resemble English, everyone will be studying it!

Actually the greatest population is China, so Chinese [language] should not disappear. No matter what, how could our countrymen throw away their own language?

England has only been around for how many years. So how was it that their language became an international language? Because of America’s strength and power. If China can also become powerful, then Chinese will become an international language.

See Also:

  • Peteryang

    sucks for interpreters.

  • Alex

    “If China can also become powerful, then Chinese will become an international language.”

    Only if China is planning on invading and colonising half the world, haha…

    ….

    Oh shit wai-

  • Peteryang

    I think Chinese is the hardest language to learn, many foreigners here can listen, read and speak no different than a native chinese but can’t write anything more complicated than 我. English writing on the other hand can be done by a 10 year old, there are only 26 letters after all.

  • peter

    Peter,

    After spending many years studying Asian languages, I can honestly tell you that Chinese is not very hard, the hardest part is as you say, the writing part, but with 6 months of practice you can easily pick up 3000 words, or more.

    The hardest language for me to learn was actually Korean, the pronunciation is very difficult, although reading/writing is not that hard at all.

    • Anon.

      I’ve tried to teach my non-Asian friends to pronounce Chinese. It’s too different from them.
      And due to the lack of an alphabet or other phonetic system like Japanese and Korean, Chinese is highly incompatible with other languages, while Japanese uses katakana, English uses letters, etc to copy foreign phrases. This is one of the primary reasons that Chinese will not be the #1 language for a long time.

  • Teacher in China

    This is really interesting to me. I had a discussion with a friend about this recently, and especially about Chinese vs. English.

    I think the comment is valid about China’s economy growing and China possibly becoming a great economic nation, and thus more people wanting to learn Chinese so that they can do business in China. However, on the flip side of that, a lot of business people (present and future) are now learning English for that very reason, so it wouldn’t be necessary for people to learn Chinese if they want to do business here…

    My argument to my friend is that Chinese may be easier to communicate in speaking, but for most of the countries of the world, learning to read and write it is really much too hard for most people. Whereas, so many countries already use a Westernized style alphabet (all of North and South America, lots of Europe, parts of Africa, Australia, etc.), so at least when learning to read and write they don’t have to learn a whole new alphabet system. So I think English has a definite edge there.

    Anyways, regardless of the Chinese vs. English thread, it’s interesting thinking about the future of the world. I see this is an extension of globalization (maybe not strictly in the same meaning as it’s usually used) in that we are moving towards becoming one world. In a nerdy sort of way, it makes me think of Star Trek, where the world in indeed one big country.

    Finally, it would be so tragic to lose great works of literature or even cultural stories (oral and written) because of a language dying out. I agree that this is as important to our world as endangered species. These “world stories” should be protected and translated – into English, naturally;) – so that they won’t be lost forever.

  • Name

    Chinese won’t become as popular as English. Its just too complicated, especially in places like computer programming.

    Pinyin however has great potential and could become just as popular as English due to China’s large population and business opportunities.

  • Yabo

    I would completely support the use of one language as the one and only language of international communication. Referring to a language’s “demise” and “extinction” or its being “endangered” carries the assumption that a language should be preserved and protected simply because it exists. If someone told me that starting tomorrow everyone in the world and our future generations will all agree on using one and only one language as a means of communication, I would pull my future son’s cock out of his grandma’s mouth and shout, “Let’s get you a dictionary! Better to start while you’re young, after all…”

    It all comes down to money and efficient use of resources. Different languages, different currencies, international borders, baby-c*ck-sucking grannies, all of these are impediments to commerce. Every time you learn a language (or hire a translator), change currencies, or stand in line at a border, you are spending time and money that could be used more efficiently in many different ways. People who have done international business, international travel, or long-distance calling will understand this.

    Additionally, there is no such thing as an “easy” or a “hard” language, just as there’s no such thing as a baby with a hard c*ck in his granny’s mouth. Britons think English is easy. Chinese think Chinese is easy. Americans wish that Chinese girls were easier. When you grow up speaking a language, it’s easy, no matter what language it is.

    People who argue that minor languages should continue to be spoken as well as people who argue that their own mother tongue should be the single common language of the world are short-sighted, a condition arising from have one’s c*ck ravished by an eager grandmother at a very young age.

  • Yabo

    @ Teacher in China
    Concerned about losing “great works of literature or even cultural stories (oral and written) because of a language dying out…”?

    According to my analysis above, and here I quote my analysis, you suffer “from have one’s c*ck ravished by an eager grandmother at a very young age.”

  • Peteryang

    I hate that alot chinese esp students spent the entire time learning english like mad, at the same time never question why they do, and whats with all these employers suddenly requiring you to say hello before they even agree to interview you for job?????

    this country has gone insane on this one, my girlfriend just told me her exam for registered accountant needs 6-grade english certificate I mean why the fcuk would a CHINESE accountant use english in CHINA???

    and don’t even get me started on those crappy private schools that cost one of your kidneys just for the first semester.

    yeah its the primary international language blabhblbbhba but you need to consider and understand the utility it would offer to your career otherwise you’d better sleeping your time away.

  • wtf

    China is a language of confusion and is primitive to say the least. Fuck writing with pictogram.

    English will become the standard.

  • Tom

    Why haven’t we had an inflated and pretentious answer from Kai yet?

  • @ wtf: chinese characters are NOT pictograms.

    @ sane people: Anyone ever see the TV show Firefly? It’s a great show, but what’s relevant here is that it takes place 500 years in the future, and the show’s writers have predicted that Chinese and American cultures kind of fused, at least to the extent that everyone in the world of the show speaks both languages (although actually, the show’s actors obviously suck at Chinese, and in the show it’s mostly used for cursing and also for writing/signs). Anyway, I’ve been wondering about the plausibility of this as a prediction for the future…I’ve been trying to get John from Sinosplice (since he’s a linguist) to comment on it for a story on my new blog, but he hasn’t responded.

    Anyway, i could see it happening. I think Chinese and English actually complement each other pretty well, if you’re going to speak two languages. And the things that are hard about Chinese are easy about English and vice versa. Frankly, I find Chinese much easier than when I was trying to learn French, so you really can’t say Chinese will die out because it’s too hard to learn as a second language. I’d say acquiring English as a second language is probably harder, especially coming from a language with less rigorous grammar rules, but Chinese people seem to have done OK.

  • additionally, I could see Chinese becoming a more popular form of writing, actually. I know it’s harder to learn, but once you have learned, it’s fast to read and you can fit more information in a smaller amount of space. It’s very practical for signs, billboards, etc. etc.

  • KTR

    The Chinese view themselves as better than everyone else; of course Chinese will not disappear!

  • 哈哈哈

    Yabo is the shit.

  • Wurly

    Yabo certainly has some kinda shit going on.

  • Jay K

    interesting read, very interesting read. i don’t need to side one way or another because i don’t need the trolls from both sides of the fences to flame me out…
    and someone already stated an obvious comment, where is Kai’s remarks, it’s surprising I haven’t seen it,

    Does it suck that languages are disappearing, yes it does, it’s evil.
    as a minority (could be me, could be you, etc) does it suck having to learn a foreign lang(i.e. English to do communication for whatever purpose), yes it does, it’s evil.

    of those 2 evil things, the latter is a necessary evil needed (for whatever reasons I have), do i personally hate that the world is becoming more English based, yes in a sense; is it a necessary evil yes. hell for the Chinese already viewing this and replying you already got pimp slapped just for reading and perhaps posting a comment already on china smack.

  • sg

    I think the chinese people should take the French’s approach. In France, if you speak English to a person straightaway you would simply get ignored. However, if you make an effort to speack french then he/she will bounce back to you with English(providing that your french is not fluent enough for them to understand).

    Language in abstract is itself a commercial product, in order to compete, one needs to convince their customers about the quality and lots of other factors which are vital to the end users. As a Chinese, I certainly stand on the side of my native language and hoping it could eventually become one of the dominant languages in the world!

  • Kai

    <inflated and pretentious answer…>

    …wait, an answer to what?

  • wtf

    chinese characters are NOT pictograms.

    Really? That’s not what I’ve learned in my last 6 years of study. Ever looked into the traditional characters and their origin? I guess not…

  • Neddy

    The French approach is one way of going about it, as long as you do not mind being called an “arrogant ars**ole” by everybody else. That’s because being proud of your mother tongue, and being impolite to your guests, are two separate things.

    Besides, all this is about minority languages. The major ones, including Chinese and English, are under no threat; we just have to learn to get along with each other. If/when the time comes for a “universal language”, it will most likely happen through convergence of dominant tongues into one lingo. Not one of them replacing the others!

  • Neddy

    IMHO Chinese characters may be considered pictograms by pedigree, but the correct technical term is ideograms. Anyone is welcome to correct me, as long as you know what you are talking about. To “think so” and to “know” are not one and the same thing…

  • GAC

    “IMHO Chinese characters may be considered pictograms by pedigree, but the correct technical term is ideograms. Anyone is welcome to correct me, as long as you know what you are talking about. To “think so” and to “know” are not one and the same thing…”

    The term linguists use is “logogram” — a symbol that represents a word or morpheme. Pictograms are just representative pictures, and ideograms show an abstract meaning without attatching it to a particular word in any language (think of the international symbols for “men” and “women” found on bathrooms — they aren’t associated with any particular language, just the general idea of “male humans go here” or “female humans go here”.)

    A few extra points:

    — There is more to language than communication. It is also a means of social cohesian. As long as people form groups that are separate from each other, there will be dilfferent languages, or at least different dialects. A more likely scenario is that, while less-widely spoken languages will be squeezed out along with the groups that speak them, more and more people will learn an international language as a second language while continuing to use their own language at home (which is basically what is happening in China with English.

    — Language and writing are separate things. Pinyin is still Chinese, whatever many Chinese say about it. That said, I still see the hanzi surviving a good long time. Thousands of years of cultural inertia is a hard thing to break, so while some might think it would be better to adopt pinyin, others will disagree (especially those Chinese that have learned their characters well and have trouble reading pinyin).

    — There are no primitive languages. As far as has been reliably established, no one knows of any language that is functionally less capable than any other. People may argue that languages of less technologically advanced societies don’t have technical vocabulary, but in reality, words are cheap, they can be borrowed or coined and then distributed through the society relatively quickly. All languages, dialects, and varieties ultimately have the basic grammatical tools to express an infinite number of ideas, and can be used to describe anything that any other language can. (Again, I’m ignoring recent work on Pirahã, which is still in dispute AFAIK — doesn’t seem to be a convincing case in my mind.)

    Anyway that’s my two cents, which I guess turned into more like five mao. For now …

  • Xiao Mama

    Yes, as the band S.H.E. sung, the world is learning Zhong-guo-hua!
    Look at this foreigner singing in Zhong-guo-hua: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMAMcnGnmsw (found it on a Chinese forum, they hate him!!!)

  • Name

    USTCer
    Thing is how often does the average Chinese person read Pinyin? A few minutes a week, maybe less? They’re just not used to it.

    I don’t live in China, I can’t read/write Hanzi anymore, I did learn a little Chinese a long time ago, I don’t use Pinyin in my daily life. But last time I was in China I helped some Chinese college students with their English and they helped me with my Chinese/Pinyin.

    In 3 or 4 months I could read Pinyin faster than they could read English. After half a year or so my Pinyin reading speed was about 70% of their Hanzi reading speed and they had been reading Hanzi since they were kids while I only had a few months experience and was only practicing Pinyin a couple hours or so a week on average.

    I think Pinyin would be easier to read if the person gets used to it. Its also faster to type and write most of the time

  • NL

    Now Xiao Mama, that’s not quite true is it? …at least not yet.
    Of course, they say (or sing) that whilst using English words in their songs; no mainstream English language musicians have ever used Chinese in their songs, (except perhaps Kung Fu) to my knowledge.

    Oh wait, I forgot this:
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lqa9XPmDrQ
    (but then she sang it in, like, every language)

    I prefer it when Chinese people cover English songs…
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-5AA7zMOYyw

  • Joe #2

    The value of a language to most people is how many other people they can talk to. So it’s not surprising if we trend towards one language as we start to communicate with people who are further away.

    If they’re worried about preserving stories or culture, then all they have to do is to translate them. And don’t say “to which language?” because we’ve figured out dead languages just by having the same thing written in more than one (the Rosetta stone). So all they have to do is translate whatever they want to save into as many widely-used languages as possible.

    But yeah, it’s hard to learn other languages. I’m still bad at anything but reading French, and I took it in college. And I can’t claim to know much Japanese even though I’ve been trying to learn it. I feel like I’m doing good if I can memorize a kanji long enough to look it up.

  • I’d like to see something like Esperanto become the main language of international dialogue. That way no one country has to “win” but more importantly no one has to lose.

  • Jim

    Of course the crappy way the campaign for putonghua has been conducted is helping kill all the other (and natural, not some made up court lingo) Chinese languages, to say nothing of the non-Chinese languages of the PRC. More local language programming on regional TV and radio!

  • too yellow

    does this mean we can finally finish the Tower of Babel as the picture suggest?

  • I think Chinese and English will likely merge in the future, to reach some happy medium

    Right now, there are more non-native speakers of english than native speakers. So it is likely that we will have english dictated TO us in the future.

    Seems like it will be exciting!

  • Yabo

    @GAC: Right on, on your extra point #1! The use of a common language for international communication does not necessarily mean one can’t use one’s native language at home. If everyone in the world speaks language XXX when they talk to someone in another country, they can still speak their native language at home. Think of Hong Kong for example, where they learn Cantonese and English from a very young age .

    I think it is the book “Oracle Bones” that has a very good discussion of the ideas explored during Mao’s time to reform the Chinese writing system. One proposal was a writing system in which the word would begin with the Chinese radical (or a very simplified version of the radical) followed by the pinyin of the word, including a mark to indicate the tone. This was viewed more positively than the idea to switch to a pinyin-only writing system.

    Some of you may have heard of a poem/article by a Chinese writer that satirized the idea of a pinyin-only writing system. The poem is about a lion, and it goes something like: “Shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi … etc. etc. ad infinitum…”. The poem is comprehensible only when written in Hanzi. It’s an extreme example, but the point is there are way too many homonyms in Chinese to make a pinyin-only writing system comprehensible.

    There was an article in I think the New York Times or Washington Post that argued not only that English is already the accepted language of international communication, but that English as a foreign language is already so entrenched in many countries’ education systems that it will remain the world’s dominant second language of choice. For example, a Korean person’s choices perhaps look like this: (1) Learn Chinese and be able to communicate very well with Chinese people and no one else; or (2) Learn English and be able to communicate at least decently with people who use English as a first or second language in EVERY country in the world. This is the reason that many Japanese and Koreans use English to communicate with Chinese people. No one in the room is using their mother tongue, so perhaps it’s a bit difficult at times, but they at least have a common medium with anyone who walks in the room from countries like America, England, Europe, and Alaska.

  • zing

    I think hindi will play a major part in world languages in the near future. India’s a rising player and their influence on the world will be more pronounced as time goes by.

  • NL

    How hard can pinyin be? if you can subvocalize, and understand spoken CHinese (and everyone can do the first one, and much of the world the second), then it shouldn;t be a problem. Maybe you’ve just forgotten how to put the right sounds to the pinyin, (but that’ll take about 5 minutes to learn, and re-learn)

    Ustcer
    “With some basic trainings, an average middle school student can read a 1000+ years old letter that was written from a wife to her husband on military duty. Pinyin can’t achieve this.”

    Why not? Pin Yin could achieve it, but first someone else would have to translate the characters into pinyin. And then the students can go about making sense of the antiquated language, surely?

    The biggest problem I’d see in pinyin, is that it would probably evolve to accommodate all of China’s languages, thus China wouldn;t be as united as it is now sharing the same characters. I think I’m write in saying that pinyin is specifically engineered for mandarin? Hence anyone attempting to use it for different languages or dialects will find the phonetic advantages lost, and thus, will find pinyin much more difficult to use.

    Yabo
    “The poem is about a lion, and it goes something like: “Shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi … etc. etc. ad infinitum…”. The poem is comprehensible only when written in Hanzi. It’s an extreme example, but the point is there are way too many homonyms in Chinese to make a pinyin-only writing system comprehensible. ”

    Sure it’s an extreme example (lets assume it had the tones if the words have different ones or not), because if it is designed to argue pinyin would be useless, couldn;t that equally apply to hanyu itself!?
    “we need to change our words”
    “what, the sounds or the characters?”
    “the sounds of course.”
    “why?”
    “Well, too many homonyms, listen to this: shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi…”
    “oh yeah, shit, we need to make it comprehensible!”

  • @USTCer
    Are you writting 文言文?

  • @Joe #2: The trouble with losing languages is that each language has words denoting concepts that do not exist in any other language. To take one example: New Zealand English has borrowed many Maori terms because there is no English term for those particular concepts. Just how do you say mana, haka, tapu or hangi in English? Or in other cases, such as whanau/family or tangi/funeral, the particular definitions are subtly different in each language. There are also words like iwi, usually translated as ‘tribe’, or hapu, ‘sub-tribe’ which are preferred over the English renderings for a variety of reasons including politics and an assertion of identity. So, no, it’s not a matter of just gathering up stories from endangered languages and translating them into something more popular.

    @Peteryang: I agree on the obssession with English, although I do like that language majors have to learn a second foreign language. If I could have my way, compulsory English would be replaced with a compulsory foreign language chosen from such languages as English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi and Russian.

  • Yabo

    “Quickly Wash the Jade”
    by: Yabo

    急希玉石,驲窒息姨,羊牛虾来。
    君子育姨,入职何不无私?
    急洗玉洁,羊牛下扩。
    君子育姨,够无饥渴。

    Quickly wash the jade,
    the carriage is crushing aunty,
    and the sheep, cows, and shrimp are all coming.
    The man of great esteem raised aunty,
    after entering work why not be selfless?

    Quickly wash the jade to make it clean,
    the sheep, cows, and shrimp are getting bigger.
    The esteemed man raised aunty,
    Without want of food or drink.

  • fireworks

    Mandarin (putonghua) is already the largest language by far because of its huge population of native speakers.

    I hope the other regional Chinese variant Cantonese and Minnan will survive and grow.

    English will sure to survive as the language of science, technology, medicine and many former British colonies still use it as a national English.

    Not so for the remote hill tribes that speak their own tongue, they will need to absorb into the UN’s six official languages.

  • NL

    Ah, I see, I was more an, ‘asking-the-questions-guy’ than ‘arguing-pinyin-was-infallible-guy’. Did some background (wikipedia) research to make sense of everyone’s remarks. Still, copious amounts of scholarly footnotes might do the trick…or not.

  • Joe #2

    “Just how do you say mana, haka, tapu or hangi in English?”

    Well, the word mana has been absorbed into English at this point in time as far as I can tell from my games (though the meaning probably isn’t quite the same).

    Anyhow, while we have no one word, I’m sure there are long dissertations out there somewhere describing each word and what meaning it conveys. Certainly, we don’t have just one word to say all that, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t express the same idea with a few more of them.

    I mean, English doesn’t separate subject from topic, but that’s important and basic in Japanese (whether you use the ‘wa’ or ‘ga’ particle), yet I’ve read several long explanations of their meaning.

    But the problem with trying to preserve languages is that you can’t force people to continue to speak it. If they have no one left to talk to, they’re definitely going to want to switch. And the only way that languages will remain alive is if there are people interested in learning and speaking them who want to preserve them.

    But I think you’ll find that the value of a language to the speakers is the number of people they can speak with. So if you don’t want a language to die, it’s best to write as much as you can about it in as many languages as you can.

  • @Joe #2: “But the problem with trying to preserve languages is that you can’t force people to continue to speak it.”

    Absolutely true. But countries like New Zealand and Wales have shown it is possible to create conditions which encourage people to preserve their language and pass it on to the younger generations.

    But I think you’ll find a language’s value lies in more than mere utility. I would argue that the experience of New Zealand’s Maori- all the suffering and destruction of colonisation, followed by the cultural renaissance beginning in the 1970s- shows that a language’s value lies at least as much in cultural identity and pride. Otherwise, why would so many people have devoted themselves to preserving the language through the kohanga reo, kura kaupapa Maori, wananga, academic research, having Maori made an official language equal with English….. ?

  • jq

    I think in the near future languages will fuse into one. However most of you are forgetting about Spanish. Which correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s the first language that is spoken by most countries.

    Also, if you ever visited the States. American English, much like the Argument of New Zealand english, is combining with Spanish. So the evolution of languages is already happening, even to English.

    You guys should watch the movie “Code 46” , i think the language they use in that movie is what most likely will be used in 20 to 30 years. Which is a hybrid of all major languages.

    One language will be good for mankind. It will unite the world a little more, and make us all feel like we’re all humans. Which some people(not pointing fingers) tend to forget.

  • NL

    @chriswaugh_bj
    Political Correctness gone mad?

  • Fuller

    @ Yabo
    (From waaay back, I haven’t been online in a while)
    What I was referring to was the fact that if a language dies out, that means there is no one left that can read it or understand it. So any written or oral stories that that language produced would be lost since there would be no one left to understand that. That would be a shame and a loss to world culture.
    If you weren’t so blinded by your obsession with aged penis you could have easily understood my point :)

  • abc

    Well, some science fiction like firefly and chung kuo have envision a world with only two languages (Chinese and Englisn) replacing all others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chung_Kuo

    Easy to write and lean is not reason why some language dominate. Enlish is actually hard to spell than other european language. Mongolian and Manchurian are easier to learn and write than Han Chinese. But at end, French speaking conquers need to learn English. Manchurian lords at end are sininized by Han Chinese.

  • Samael

    jeese another 41 yrs? i thought everyone would be speaking esperanto by now :(

  • Jesse

    AI, I, hand in hand
    making our own footprints
    in the sand

    I created this poem to reveal the beauty of the Chinese language.
    The pronunciation of AI translates love.
    I is the Chinese symbol for work.

    The Chinese people enjoy working hard. America’s famous poem “Footprints in the Sand,” talks of god (though invisible) placing his footprints in the sand.
    Yet through loving hardwork (as the Chinese do) we can become as god’s.

    We cannot allow for language to become lost if we want to learn the cultureal implications of connecting the languages. Losing language is destroying a part of history!

    I think it’s time America learn the beauty of the Chinese language!

    As A Woman who stands! HA!HA!

  • GAC

    @Jesse

    Ahm …. OK

    Very poetic. Very nice feelings. Lots of incredible misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

    Sorry, it was bugging me, had to say it.

  • Jfemmefatale

    I not take back a word, fuckher.

  • GAC

    “chinese characters are NOT pictograms.

    Really? That’s not what I’ve learned in my last 6 years of study. Ever looked into the traditional characters and their origin? I guess not”

    Perhaps you’re thinking a different definition of pictogram. The technical definition is “a pictorial representation of an object.” (from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pictogram). Certain radicals and characters have pictographic origins/elements, but if you think they are entirely pictographic, your Chinese teacher apparently didn’t teach much about character composition. Most characters contain phonetic elements (approximate to be sure, and some of them obscured by thousands of years of langauge change), and each one represents a mono-syllabic word or morpheme rather than directly symbolizing an object or concept, so no, they are not pictograms, they are definitely logograms, “a grapheme which represents a word or a morpheme (the smallest meaningful unit of language)” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logogram).