The child’s first language is critical to his or her identity. Maintaining this language helps the child value his or her culture and heritage.
Language is a key to inclusion and that’s why advocates commemorate International Mother Language Day, every 21 February to celebrate and protect all the languages of the world.
Globally today, it is an irrefutable fact that the steady demise of mother tongue is the most palpable sign of a severe human predicament. Every language spoken in the world represents a unique culture, melody, colour, and benefit and to everyone, the mother language is unquestionably one of the most valuable treasures in our lives. It’s our obligation and duty to safeguard it and pass it down from generation to generation.
Mother tongue is one of the most authoritative tools used to safeguard and convey culture and cultural ties. Children who are uninformed of their culture, their language and their history will lose confidence in themselves, the family, society and the nation to which they belong and will have no other option than seeking an alternate identity.
Studies have proven that a child will identify himself or herself with the language and culture he knows best.
The death of a language is worse than the burning of a dictionary whose backup is not available anywhere, not even in a person’s mind. When a language dies it means a whole culture in its totality has died; a whole community suffers an irreversible loss as it has no option than to humbly submit to some other community, culture, tradition, norms and language. When languages fade so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity.
It’s an undeniable fact that in recent times, many youngsters fail to communicate a sentence in their language without using English or a lingua franca. This is proof that we cannot embrace who we are and where we come from. There’s a failure to create a source of inspiration and pride to carry our mother tongue to greater heights. Our languages are also dependent on where we are in the people.
Some out of sheer ignorance regarded their own language as inferior while others seek to preserve, protect, make proud and promote their own language and culture; others abandon their mother tongue and join others to preserve theirs. Our present is shaped by our past and the future we will bequeath to future generations is being crafted by our actions in the present. Until such a time that our mother tongues are equally used, spoken, and preserved will it save from going extinct and losing our identity.
Since it is a fact that young people use and tend to learn a lot faster with technology, preserving indigenous languages has now been made easier. Designing digital tools in several languages and supporting media development, as well as supporting access to connectivity, must be done so that a person can still have access to the mother tongue while discovering different languages without giving up their mother tongue.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in comment section.