Home Forums Reflection Forum Reflection 2.1 – Owning a Language (pt 1)

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    • #2347
      adminadmin
      Keymaster

      This is an interesting question…The first other language that springs to mind is Spanish. It it widely spoken, and perhaps most associated with Spain (although Spain itself had a number of other language like Basque, Catalan, Galician etc.) but despite being named for it and originating there, Spain certainly doesn’t own Spanish. As we all know, the US, Mexico, Central and South America have their own numerous varieties of Spanish. In the US, there is Chicano Spanish, for instance, which is a language in its own right, owned by those who speak it (https://www.pdx.edu/multicultural-topics-communication-sciences-disorders/chicano-english). At the same time, though Spain in the only country in Europe where Spanish is spoken “natively” there are Spanish users all over the continent, and Spanish does indeed belong to them. I speak a mix of Castilian Spanish, Mexican Spanish and Colombian Spanish, so…what is that then? I suppose that would be my own Spanish, that I took from different sources and made my own, far from a “Standard” variety but given that I use it, I own it. I hope this makes sense…Does anyone have other examples?

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/11/owning-language-pt-1

      • This topic was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by adminadmin.
    • #3736

      India,as an Outer circle Country speaks English as a second language. T

    • #4084

      Somehow, I understand why English speakers from Inner Circle own the language since they have been speaking the language for the longest time. But, they need to understand that as globalization takes place, English is theirs anymore. Everyone who speaks the language owns it whether they are from the Inner Circle or not.
      I speak not just English, I also speak our native language, Japanese and even Spanish. And whenever I hear some foreigners speak our native language, I never feel that I own the language. As a matter of fact, I feel honored to hear them speak our native language as if it’s theirs too.

    • #4150

      In my opinion noone ‘owns’ any language. The very sense of ownership might create unnecessary restrictions on language in using it and then again create void in the user’s/learner’s mind – the feeling that they use some other’s language filling them with inferiority complex.
      When it comes to Sri Lankan Tamil, it’s mutually intelligible by all Tamil speakers across the globe belonging to different geographical locations whereas when it comes to Sinhala language, it’s only confined to the island nation. Though it doesn’t come under the so called international band, it belongs to a rich language family.

    • #4216

      In the past, when the mobility and communication were limited to geographical location, a language could be associated to certain group of people. Yet, by the development of technology and high mobility, a language be own by anybody. Any people can learn language, the community who use that language can modify and create their own dialect.

    • #4530
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi
      Member

      There is no individual owner of a language be it from the inner circle, outer or expanded circles. So English can be propergated around the world by the inner circle, but to own or tame it… I find unrealistic. To give an example, Hausa language is spoken intra- and inter-nationally. But the Nigerian speakers of the language cannot but marvel at how the language has taken new forms in Ghana, Chad, Niger, CAR, Togo and other countries. Best we can do is to drop that monolithic mentality; distribute and use the language according to the needs and the terrains.

    • #4577

      An example that came to my mind is Chinese, which is not a homegenous language as it includes Mandarin, Cantonese, Hunanese, etc. In the times of globalisation, people of Chinese origin can be found all around the globe forming their own communities and blending their native Chinese dialect with local languages, thus creating new varieties with its own unique structure, lexis and pronunciation. I strongly believe that in the future we’ll observe more and more of such blended varieties of many languages.

    • #4692

      Yes, est 1841 (admin)!! I was just thinking about how the Real Academia tries to control Spanish and tells other Spanish speakers their words aren’t real! A band from Puerto Rico (Calle 13) sometimes makes commentary on the control over the language Spain still seems to think it has.

    • #4707

      According to my opinion, there is the whole ownership of each language for its’ native speakers. For instances; English language has the ownership for inner countries like UK, USA. Then, Sinhala language for Sri Lanka, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam languages for India, and etc. When English language is spoken and utilized by the other nations, there is the possibility of changing the originality of the native speakers’ language and inspired the other varieties of English like Standard Sri Lankan English, Standard Malaysian English, Standard Indian English and etc.
      On the contrary, there is another opinion as well. English language dominates the whole globe. Other countries can not be developed without English language. In other words, English language has become an essential tool that the other nations can’t live without.

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