I came across an interesting piece on twitter last week regarding bilingualism and it caught my attention for two reasons – firstly the very nature of my job means I am always on the lookout for stories regarding languages and secondly it reminded me of a post I wrote recently on disappearing languages.
According to researchers in Spain the dominating languages such as English have led to the decline and eventual extinction of less dominating languages like Scottish, Gaelic and Welsh. This, they say, is proven by mathematical models.
However according to another research department in Australia this mathematical model fails to consider bilingualism, which, according to them allows two languages to co-exist without causing one to decline or disappear.
So which school of thought is correct or are both? The answer is I don’t know! But what I do know is that languages are starting to disappear and this trend will continue because so many people only speak one language, or if we use the proper term are monolingual. If we are to prevent languages disappearing not only should we be encouraging people, and in particular young children to learn different languages – we should also be encouraging those who speak a language other than the ‘dominate’ ones to continue using their own too!