Language Extinction

Redacted   Monday, August 04, 2003, 16:03 GMT
2400 of the worlds 6000 languages are currently on the endagered list and will be gone by the middle of this Century...France, a ponderously backward nation in linguistic matters, still officially insists that Breton is extinct. But the Bretons are far from defeated. They have launched their own schools (diwan in Breton), work closely with other French language minorities to pressure Paris to sign the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and have uploaded rich, provocative Web sites to tell the world about their struggle. Salient examples include Skol Diwan an Oriant and Kervarker. Other Internet resources include Kervarker’s online Breton course, a Breton dictionary, and an online forum.

Why does the French Gouvernment insist on ignorance in relation to the needs of the Cymry Breizhoneg?
Clark   Monday, August 04, 2003, 18:22 GMT
Vas te faire foutre, Redacted. Seriously though, you overkill the Celtic stuff you post here.

Yes, the French government went so far as to say the Breton language was merely a dialect of French (as I read some time ago), but now, Breton is just as alive as the rest of the living Celtic languages (Gaelic, Irish and Welsh).

And by the way, les Bretons NE SONT PAS Gallois ! Ils sont BRETONS ! SO why did you wirte, "Cymru Breizhoneg" ?
Julian   Monday, August 04, 2003, 20:22 GMT
>>>Why does the French Gouvernment insist on ignorance in relation to the needs of the Cymry Breizhoneg?

That is because France is threatened by anything remotely foreign-sounding seeping in and “destroying” their beloved language and culture.

Once upon a time, French was the language of poets and kings, philosophers, writers, diplomats, musicians, etc., and rivaled English in world supremacy. Now English completely dominates with millions of people worldwide picking it up as a second language, leaving French with a dwindling population of speakers and thus, becoming less and less relevant in world affairs.

This does not sit well with the French elite, who, under the authority of the Ministry of Culture, have resorted to ridiculous, fascistic measures to preserve their language, such as banning popularly used American-English terms and replacing them with coined French words (recent example: from “e-mail” to “courriel”); threatening to imprison advertisers who use Franglais terms like “le weekend,” “le fast-food,” and “le self-service”; and suppressing minority languages that might one day displace la langue française.
Julian   Monday, August 04, 2003, 21:19 GMT
Damn! I thought I had my word document set to ASCII fonts. Oh well. If any of you care to read my post, those gibberish characters are supposed to be quotation marks.
Guofei Ma   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 01:38 GMT
I believe e-mail is "le courrier électronique" and not "courriel" in the French used in France. The former is the term I learnt in French class and when I searched for the latter on Google, all of the results were Canadian sites.
Clark   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 01:47 GMT
Yes, the Québecois say "courriel" and the French simply say "le mel" or "l'email."

I find the use of English among the French-Canadians and the French amusing. It seems like when the French borrow an English word, the Canadians use a French word, and when the French-Canadians borrow an English word, the French use a French word.

An example I have given before to illustrate this point:

On se gare dans un parking. = France
On se parque dans un stationnement. = Québec
(One parks in a parking lot/car park.)
Clark   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 01:53 GMT
All languages as we know them will come to an end, but their legacy will live on. Take the Romance languages for example. Latin was a language spoken by a huge group of people, over a wide area, and then it started to change into the Romance languages. And then the Romance languages will change into something else. Language extinction is unfortunate, but something that happens. This is why we as humans should write as many languages down to keep records so that when a language does die, people who would have had ancestors who spoke the language, will be able to learn it.
Madam Parah Niode   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 03:45 GMT
Woooo...I predict that English stays but is seriously altered in our world's future...woooooooo....the crystal ball glows.....woooo.....the future is told...wooo...
Clark   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 04:04 GMT
I predict that there will be people who speak English tomorrow ;-P
Blah   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 05:27 GMT
Written English may look the same written down, but it's definitely spoken differently around the world. I wouldn't be surprised if in another 100 years true dialects formed, then slowly new languages. Then it will be just the Germans lefting speaking to each other in Hoch-English.
Blah   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 12:43 GMT
Definitely not. Though German suffers from English influence, educated speakers try to avoid foreign words except for latin
Julian   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 15:38 GMT
>>>I believe e-mail is "le courrier électronique" and not "courriel" in the French used in France.

From CNN:

France bans 'e-mail' from vocabulary

PARIS, France (AP) --Goodbye "e-mail", the French government says, and hello "courriel" -- the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents.

The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of "e-mail" in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.

The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term "courrier electronique" (electronic mail) instead of e-mail -- a claim some industry experts dispute. "Courriel" is a fusion of the two words.

"Evocative, with a very French sound, the word 'courriel' is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed 'mail' in English," the commission has ruled...(remainder of article snipped).
Clark   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 19:19 GMT
Good! I do not like it when there are so many Saxon words in a Romance language anyway.

I wish that French-speakers would borrow English words derived from Latin/Norman French, but when you think about it, a lot of the words borrowed are probably words used a lot in English and since they are used a lot in English, they are usually Saxon-origin words (though I am no expert on this; this is just a speculation).
Tremmert   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 19:45 GMT
I don't think English will split into different dialects. That sort of thing happened a long time ago when there was very little communication, eg Saxon becoming English. By the time Dutch became Afrikaans there was still slow communication by ship so these languages are less different. With things like the telephone, internet, TV etc I think English is likely to become more homogenized - and mix more with other languages - rather than split up.
Clark   Tuesday, August 05, 2003, 20:21 GMT
I think that English will become more unified as we go along as a world. What I think will happen to the other languages is that they will get caught up in the English influence. For example, in 500 years, the French language might just have remnants of French syntax, use a fair amount of French words, but be almost recogniseable to an English-speaker (je puté ma coffee dan l'table = I put my coffee in the table).