Lost Language Essay

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LOST LANGUAGE In “Tribal Talk” by Michelle Nijhuis and “speaking in Tongues” by James Geary, both writers talked about how the hundreds and thousands of different tribal languages spoken in the past by millions have been cut down in half. Languages that are less known or spoken have been endangered today or nearly extinct just like some wild life going into extinction. But losing a language is more than the way of communicating; losing a language means the loss of its culture. The best argument I found in reading these two articles was in Nijhuis’s “Tribal Talk.” Nijhuis talked about what’s at stake in losing one’s own language which in this case was the Blackfoot language, called otherwise Piegan. Nijhui mentioned “What’s at stake is more than words.” (4) I would totally agree with that quote because I think one language contains a culture’s unique mysteries and their heritage for kids and other to learn about them. Without everyone’s own tribal language there is no way in unrevealing what their ancestor left for them to learn more about their own heritage. Geary would also agree with this point as well because he mentioned in his article speaking in Tongue that losing a language’s true definition “It marks the loss of an entire culture.”(7) From personal experience I would also strongly agree what these articles had to suggest to us readers. English is my second language and from being here and adapting to the culture for so long, I slowly suffer the loss of my original language which is Chinese. By losing my original language the things I celebrate in that past related to the language slowly goes along with it. Time goes by and slowly I forget and doesn’t celebrate the things I usually do when I was in china and when I only knew one language. Both Geary and Nijihuis discuss the reasons why languages are lost. The man

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