URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE U.K. - 'Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad'

Hold on. We're not getting delirious. Nor is that a core-dump from a dysfunctional computer program. That's Welsh, and it means "Wales! Wales! O but my heart is with you!" - lines from the Welsh National Anthem. In case you didn't know, it's one of the languages of the United Kingdom - better known as England. And you thought the whole of UK speaks English and nothing else? Come on, it's time to shake yourself up and take stock of the amazing linguistic diversity of the world! It's time to recognize efforts all over the world to maintain the linguistic diversity of the planet.

Wales, which is a nation within the UK, is slowly but surely realizing the importance of promoting the use of it's own language - the Welsh langauge - in day-to-day usage as well as in education. Surprisingly, though, the Welsh language is more famous among children than among older people. Writes Jennifer Woods in the Gair Rhydd:

In fact, the highest percentage of Welsh speakers were found to be among children, with 40.8% of children aged five to fifteen being fluent in Welsh. Surely if such a large majority of children speak the language, this makes it far from out of date?

If you ask me, the main problem surrounding Welsh is that not enough of the older generation speak it.
The message from the UK is loud and clear: We won't let Welsh down.

Here are some questions for you to ponder over: Why is the language of the land more popular among children than among elders in Wales? Why do we see the seeds of an opposite trend in Karnataka? What are the long-term implications of our children being led away from Kannada while linguistic peoples across the entire world are realizing the importance of their own languages?


Sri Sai Skanda said...

Kids everywhere in the world are the same.Their natural tendencies are to speak their mother tongue.But the problem starts when the parents go to the extent of requesting teachers not to speak to their kids in Kannada but in English.This is when the first seeds of Inferiority complex are sown in the kid and when it sinks in him/her that for all communication outside of the house English is all that is required......

Forcing kids to speak in English brings in a layer of artificality, a break in spontaneity...things that obstruct leadership qualities basically.

Secondly these very kids are the best ambassador's/teachers of a language.Strangers/migrants especially those who stay in 2 or 3 house buildings find it easy conversing with kids and picking up the local language.

The only difference with the Welsh is that they have allowed the kids a free hand by not adversely influencing them on the "Superority" of another language which we in Karnataka so easily tend to fall prey to and advocate to our children by our thoughts and actions.

Phantom said...

Rightly said Jai veerupaksha. Kids are fostered by the confused parents. Hence the result.

Parents need to be educated about the ill effects of ones kid learning in a language other than Mother tongue. Tell them that

1. Ability to think is going diminish.
2. Ability to innovate is going to diminish.
3. Ability to make choice is going to diminish.
4. Ability to compete is going to diminish.
5. Ability to ideate is going to diminish.

and their kids are going to grow up being one more person taking up calls and only calls.

Anonymous said...

A move from Wales is possible because its a country/nation. Karnataka is not!

Great Britain is a union of 4 countries as they say, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All the countries their own tongue, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh from ages.

Again, the comparison between Wales and Karnataka is like comparing a wild lion is the forest with a circus lion.!

Anonymous said...

2 Similar setups but the problem is here you will be termed 'parochial', looked down, treated inferioir & termed chauvinist if you speak Kannada while it is boasted proudly back in Wales.

As Jai Veeupaksha has said it seriously dents the thinking capacity, creativity & innovativeness if they are asked to express themselves in something which they are not comfortable with.

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