There are over 3,000 languages in the world. The major language groups are: Chinese| 950 million speakers| English| 550 million speakers| Hindi | 350 million speakers| Spanish| 330 million speakers| Portuguese| 180 million speakers| Language and Culture Language is a powerful expression of culture and is closely associated with identity. * Language is a means of uniting people. * Language is also a means of controlling people. (Gaeilge) * Language is the principal cultural medium. The traditions and values of a cultural group are transmitted through its language.
Case Study- English * The growth of the British Empire led to the spread of the English language to many parts of the world. * In many former colonies, English is the principal language spoken. This is the case in North America, Australia, many parts of Africa and of course, Ireland. * The growth of the USA as a world power in the 20th century increased the dominance of English. * The popularity of American and British film and television promotes English throughout the world. * English is the language of the internet, science and aviation. This establishes its importance on a worldwide level. English was and is the language of commerce, hence its popularity. English is now the working language of the EU. * The French feel threatened by the increasing dominance of the English language. The Academie Francaise monitors the use of French to prevent the use of “franglaise”. * English as it is spoken in Ireland is changing. This is evidence of the powerful influence of the media in promoting a new way of speaking English. * English language programmes and newspapers communicate culture as well as language. Television programmes like “Friends” promote modern values and trends.
The global spread of English over the last 50 years is remarkable. It is unprecedented in several ways: by the increasing number of users of the language, by its depth of permeation [“pE:mI’eISn] into societies and its range of functions. There is a model consisting of 3 circles proposed by B.B. Kachru in 1982 in order to describe regional varieties of English. The 1st or inner circle ...
Due to digital television, internet links and the dominance of English, a global culture has emerged. Focus on Gaeilge Accorinding to the 2002 Cencus, 1. 57 million in the Republic of Ireland can speak Irish and 10. 4% of the people in Northern Ireland claim to have some knowledge of Irish. * Irish is a minority language in the State. It is the policy of the Irish government to support the language and extend its use. * The government is committed to reversing the decline in Irish as the principal means of communication in the Gaeltacht. * The government is committed to extending the use of Irish on the island of Ireland.
To achieve this: * The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs supports and works closely with other agencies particularly An Foras Teanga and Udaras na Gaeltachta, in pursuing its objectives. * Ciste na Gaeilge is a fund from which Irish-language organisations and various Irish initiatives are grant-aided. * The Official Languages Act was signed into law in 2003. The Act provides a statutory framework for the delivery of services through the Irish language. * The Placenames Branch researches the placenames of Ireland and provides authoritative Irish language forms of those placenames, like “An Daingean” for Dingle. Iomairt Cholm Cille is a project where the main objectives are the strengthening of links between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and the improvement of existing contacts between these communities. The Irish government promotes the importance of the Irish language in the cultural life of Ireland in the following ways: * It is compulsory to study Irish in schools. * All-Irish schools are supported by the government. * Local and national Irish language radio and TV stations have been set up. * Irish language colleges are generously subsidised by the government. Welsh
Introduction Why should we encourage students to use dictionaries? Dictionaries develop learner autonomy. They are a handy resource for researching different meanings, collocations, examples of use and standard pronunciation. If students know how to use them effectively, there are hundreds of hours of self-guided study to be had with a good dictionary. The best way to complement a dictionary ...
As with Irish, Welsh is a minority language. The Welsh government is committed to extending its use in everyday life. * Welsh is spoken by a minority of people in Wales. * The percentage of Welsh speakers in Wales has declined steadily since the end of the 19th century, when 50% spoke the language. Policies for the revival of the Welsh language The Welsh Education Act places Welsh on equal footing with the English for the delivery of services through the Welsh language. * The Welsh Language Board is a statutory organisation, funded by public money. Its main function is to promote the use of the Welsh language.
The board offers advice and resources to help service providers in Wales to give a natural choice of language to their customers. * Welsh is compulsory in schools for students between the ages of 5 and 16. All-Welsh primary schools are now attended by 25% of children. * Welsh television, radio, newspapers and books are encouraged through the allocation of funds from the government. * These policies have made the percentage of Welsh speakers in the 25-44 age group increase from 14. 4% in 1991 to 15. 1% in 2001. Typical exam question: Analyse the importance of language as a cultural indicator.