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The Politics Of Language Essay

1331 words - 6 pages

A single language can be bring about unity and message can be get through to the intended target without much hassle, thus bilingualism and multilingualism should be discouraged.Spoken language is a major factor in personal identity. Just as people identify with their own cultures and customs, they identify with their native language dialect. Language is defined by the Collins 'Compact English Dictionary" as a system of spoken sounds or conventional symbols for communicating thought, the language for a particular nation or people, the ability to use words to communicate. It is also defined as any other means of communicating, for example, the specialized vocabulary used by a particular group ...view middle of the document...

In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms galvanized debates over the impact of constitutionally entrenched language rights in Canadian society. The Charter functioned as a "Trojan horse" to English Canadians to make them accept language provisions deemed necessary to Trudeau's design for national unity.Any court in Canada must provide simultaneous interpretation of the proceedings, and ensure that any person giving evidence can be understood in the official language of their choice.There are advantages and the disadvantages of exercising a single language or exercising bilingualism/multilingualism but I feel that there are more advantages to having just one official language than 2 or more official languages.Unity is the basis requirements for a country to run effectively.By having an official language, government can convey their message where every citizen in the country would understand. If there are more than one official language, citizens of that particular state would not understand each other, and thus resulting not only chaos but disunity too. Governments have difficulty ruling over people that they cannot communicate with.With two or more official languages, a state or country wastes precious resources that can be used for other purposes. As mentioned earlier on Canadian language policy where a court would have to provide simultaneous interpretation of the proceedings, and ensure that any person giving evidence can be understood in the official language of their choice. And that costs. Documents within the governments departments would have to be intepratated into two languages, which would cost a huge amount of resources. However, with just one official language, these interpretation and further documentation can be abolished and use the extra resources for other purposes, such as better social/health plan for the people.With just one language as an official language of the state or country, it would reflect a distinct identification of cultures and customs of the people. Let's take an example of Indonesia; where it has an official language of Bahasa Indonesia but the government supports local languages, one such is Javanese. Indonesia currently is still in crisis where there are a few states who are demanding independence from the Indonesian government. This happened because there is no unity within the country, as the government did not emphasize the importance of the use of the official language; Bahasa Indonesia. This also results the huge diversification of cultures and customs.Ever since it was declared that Canada was to have two official languages, campaigns have sprung up to reverse this decision. There are also folks in the province of Quebec that prefer to see no English words anywhere even if it is one of the...

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