Assistant Editor, Jenna Field
Bachelor of Business Administration Major
Concordia University-Saint Paul, Minnesota
National languages can be either a positive or a negative. It can be positive because it does have the ability to unite newly formed countries, especially if there was political unrest before and the people had to fight for their freedom. It can also be positive because language is one of the major contributors to people’s identity. It also gives people a sense of their background and culture. There are countries where having a national language, if not more than one, works really well. Two examples of this are the countries of Switzerland and India. Also, a national language can be positive because it insures that everyone will be able to communicate, and sometimes everyone not being able to communicate causes conflicts. However, national language can also be a negative. It can cause native languages to be killed off in order for everyone to speak the majority language. In doing this it can cause people to loose part of their identity and culture. It can also cause people to feel singled out and left out. The main negative aspect is that it can cause major conflicts. One example of a nation where the official languages and their speakers do not interact well is Quebec. There has been occasional fighting, much protesting, and even two attempts for Quebec to become its own French speaking nation and secede from Canada. It can also cause conflict because when two people can not understand what the other one is saying, it often turns into a negative situation with one person thinking the other one is talking “bad” about them. Some people also view having a national language as a violation of the First Amendment, the right to freedom of speech.
Examining Myths on A National Language