43 percent of languages of the world endangered

43 percent of languages of the world endangered

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43 percent of languages of the world endangered

 By YOHAN PERERA

The importance of preserving mother languages were stressed today with the revelation that 43 percent of the 7,000 languages in the world have become endangered.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in Colombo Tareq Md Ariful Islam led the campaign for the preservation of mother tongues during an event organized by the High Commission, the Ministry of Education and the National Scouts Association of Sri Lanka to commemorate the International Day of Mother Languages.

“Around 43 percent of the 7,000 languages in the world have become endangered today. More than 40 percent of the people who speak different languages do not have access to education in their mother tongues. It is time we turned the tide,” High Commissioner Islam said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry also stressed the importance of languages and thereby stressed that languages bring about harmony in spite of diversity.

“Sri Lanka is a nation which uses two state languages, Sinhala and Tamil and uses English as a link language,” he said.

Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha also said Sri Lanka is a nation which uses three languages.

“Sinhala and Tamil are two national languages. Both these languages were used as modes of education especially after the 13h Amendment was enacted. We now provide education in English from Grade six. We have also allowed higher education institutes to conduct their study courses in any language of their preference,” he said.

 Says a Sri Lankan “Why do we need to speak English in Sri Lanka when our language is Singhalese? Why do these Europeans need to dominate everywhere with their Western culture and their English? We should be proud of our languages and stop worshipping English. Why do children in Sri Lanka speak English at home? If people can’t speak English, they humiliate you. What is wrong with our people? Only English should be allowed to be spoken with people who do not know Singhalese. If the government does not take action, we will lose our identity and become a copy of these Western cultures. Our people are speaking English, bleaching their skin, and dressing like Europeans because they hate themselves. “