Change in Language Use: Is Multilingualism & Bilingualism responsible?

Mar 05

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher once quoted “change is the only constant thing in life”, which is true in a lot of terms. While the trend and culture changes from time to time, the verbal language is also changing, globally.

Every language in the world has been evolved from a historic mother-tongue that was first spoken in their region a thousand years ago, yet there are no direct evidences on the origin of language. However, the scholars have argued over it for centuries! While the Romans argue that Latin has evolved all the languages, Indians argue that Sanskrit is the mother of all languages.

Because the origin of language is a vast topic and is considerably difficult to study due to the lack of evidences, we are here going to focus on the change of language use in the originated language.

While there are multiple reasons contributing to the changes in the traditional language, bilingualism or multilingualism plays a major role. A person who has a command over two languages is bilingual whereas the one with two or more languages in considered as a multilingual. In today’s age, most of the people are multilingual, having a knowledge about more than two or more languages. But how did they get a grasp of different languages other than their native language?

One of the major reasons for a person to be multilingual or bilingual is that his parents are of different speech community. With a number of people getting married outside their community, region, culture, or nation, their offsprings get a hold on those different dialects from a very young age. A research suggests that multilingual people are good at multitasking as well. Thus, learning different languages at an early stage helps the child in the later aspects of life. Another reason for being a multilingual is that the person has learned different languages for his own interest.

He might have learnt it for his professional growth, or maybe to communicate with the locals of a place while he was traveling there. Being a bilingual or multilingual have its own benefits. It helps you to interact with people of different regions and make you look intellectual in front of others. While watching a movie that includes two different dialects, you must have noticed that it comes as a surprise for the listener when the speaker speaks in the listener’s native language.

With a majority of people being multilingual today, they have started to amalugate those different languages while conversing with others. A French man who is fluent in English would tend to speak a mixture of both at times. For example : “Hello, Monsieur!” or “Bonjour, Mister!” where one of the word is French and the other is English. Hello is a English word and Monsieur is mister in French whereas Bonjour is hello for french and mister is a plain English word.

While knowing different languages is a good thing, amalgamating them in the conversation is not. You might mix them for your ease to convey your message to the listener but it would hamper your formal conversational skills and degrading the natural essence of both of the languages. You might not have noticed but more than 80% of people use a mixture of two dialects while conversing, which is diminishing the power of the original language. While the neologic terms are being created with the aid of two or more language, the original language is dying a slow death. This would bring a time in the future when people would not be able to differentiate between the different languages of the world, let alone the origin of the language is already in a suspense.

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