Welcome to Linguis Europae, the EUC's language blog!

Linguis Europae is dedicated to a range of topics involving official state, regional, and minority languages in the EU. Posts are written in five languages by UI students and faculty! Check back regularly for updates!

Bridging the Gap: Language and Community in Action in East Central Illinois

Skye Mclean discusses the East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECRIMAC), which provides services essential to refugee and immigrant resettlement in East-Central Illinois and aids in the exchange and preservation of their respective cultures.

Place and Space: Another Perspective on Crimea

Senior Andrey Starosin offers his perspective on the current events taking place in Crimea.

French Professor Revamps Course on "Language and Minorities in Europe"

Linguis Europae's own Zsuzsanna Fagyal and her course "Languages and Minorities in Europe" were featured in a recent issue of the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics.

Un'Ode al "Dialàtt Bulgnaiś": An Ode to the Bolgnese Dialect

Kaitlyn Russell muses on her fondness for the Italian dialect, Bolognese.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Is the Instruction of Crimean Tatar Language Benefiting Under Russian Occupation?

Victory Day Parade. Sevastopol, Crimea
Is the Instruction of Crimean Tatar Language Benefiting Under Russian Occupation?

By Nicholas Higgins

Nicholas Higgins is a M.A. student with the Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Center, looking to finish his degree by the summer of 2017. He is interested in the study of new ways of understanding the development of identity during Glasnost’ and Perestroika, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He wrote this text during his time in 418 “Languages and Minorities in Europe”.

At the time of the return of the Crimean people to the Crimean peninsula, the only people who still knew the Crimean Tatar language were those who had known it before the exile. Demographic data shows that the Crimean Tatars who knew the language were the older generations, as the people born in exile were taught only Russian (Emirova, 2007).

According to Professor Adile Emirova, an avid researcher of her native language, Crimean Tatar, there are four types of competency:


  • symmetric bilinguals, who fluently speak both Russian and mother tongue in all social spheres;
  • asymmetric bilinguals, using mother tongue only in family and Russian in all other spheres of life, including family;
  • asymmetric bilinguals, using the Crimean Tatar language (in the form of local dialect) in family and having limited usage of Russian;
  • monolinguals, having the command of only Russian or only Crimean Tatar. (Emirova, 2007).


With these levels of competency, the Crimean people have worked to try and resurrect their language. As of 2007, there were fifteen schools in Crimea that offered adequate instruction of Crimean Tatar, offering instruction to 5,000 students out of 40,000.

Now jump to March 2014. At the tail end of the Euromaidan, a highly controversial referendum was held that ended with the Crimean Peninsula joining the Russian Federation. With the Crimean Tatars now back under the rule of the Kremlin, the situation regarding the spread of the Crimean Tatar language has come under a possible threat. The operative word here is “possible”.

Protester at May 18th Commemoration of the Crimean Tatar Deportations.
Maidan Square, Kiev, Ukraine
It is undeniable that the Crimean Tatars are currently facing repressions under Russian rule, as the Mejlis, the highest legislative body of Crimean Tatars, has recently, as of the 27th of April, been banned from the Crimean Peninsula under the pretext of being an Islamic extremist organization (Al Jazeera, 2016). In addition, a number of Crimean Tatar media sources have been shut down, including ATR, a Crimean TV channel that was vocally critical of Russian rule.

The Russians claimed to be providing Crimean Tatar schools with language textbooks to allow for the teaching of Crimean Tatar, as textbooks for language instruction became a needed commodity for Crimean Tatar schools. The Russian publishing company, Prosveshchenie, has reportedly produced over 600,000 textbooks to the region in 2014, included in those are supposedly Crimean Tatar language textbooks. A total of at least 3,000,000 textbooks were sent to the region between at least six different publishing companies (Дон ТР). With these textbooks, the Russians had planned to help improve the instruction and availability of the language for education. However, this may not be the case, as a Turkish human rights delegation, led by Professor Zafer Uskul, observed (Goble, 2015).

The delegation claimed that the language rights of the Crimean Tatars only existed “on paper”. The evidence provided shows that only fifteen schools teach Crimean Tatar. Given that we already know that there were only fifteen schools that had Crimean Tatar as the language of instruction as early as 2007, it shows zero percent growth in terms of number of institutions provided. According to various reports, the academic years after the Russian occupation began contain no schools that are strictly instructed in Crimean Tatar, all the schools are now dual-language with Russian. Russian has dominated, as 96% of students are learning Russian instead of Crimean Tatar, and Crimean Tatar children are taught in Russian in schools where Crimean Tatar is the main language ((Coynash, 2015) (112 UA, 2016) (Goble, 2015)).

What about the textbooks, then? Are the numbers and claims of the Russians accurate to what the Crimean Tatars are experiencing? The textbooks that were promised did not arrive when they were supposed to, and the number of textbooks provided for Crimean Tatar instruction are woefully lacking in population (Goble, 2015).

In addition, the hours of instruction and the importance of Crimean Tatar language instruction have fallen since the Russian occupation began in 2014. Crimean Tatar has lost necessity in instruction in some schools, including the Crimean New School for Kids and Youths, where Crimean Tatar is only used outside formal lessons (Network of Schools). Only three hours a week of instruction of the language is in place currently amongst schools that offer the language (RISA, 2014).

The answer to the question of the status of Crimean Tatar instruction under Russian occupation is clear: the status has experienced little to no growth. With the promise of textbooks for the Crimean schools, the Russians have failed to deliver while lowering the hours of instruction and elevating the instruction of the Russian language while suppressing Crimean Tatar. Perhaps most damning of all, the Kremlin and Putin have stated that the push for Crimea was for the protection of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers (Coynash, 2015). As long as the Crimean Tatars are being suppressed by their Russian occupiers, the instruction of the Crimean Tatar language will continue to suffer.

Sources:

"Russia Continues to Oppress Crimea's Tatars." - Al Jazeera English. March 19, 2016. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/03/russia-continues-oppress-crimea-tatars-160308054208716.html.

"Russian Court Bans Crimean Tatar Governing Body." Al Jazeera English. April 27, 2016. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/russian-court-bans-crimean-tatar-governing-body-160426191324707.html.

Coynash, Halya. "Ukrainian & Crimean Tatar Pushed out of Schools in Russian-occupied Crimea." Ukraine Law Blog (blog), September 6, 2015. http://ukrainianlaw.blogspot.com/2015/09/ukrainian-crimean-tatar-pushed-out-of.html.

"News:." Crimean Tatar in Ukraine. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://www.networkofschools.eu/schools/crimean-tatar-in-ukraine/#c2619.

Emirova, Adile. "On the Revival of the Crimean Tatar Language: An Interview with Professor Adile Emirova." Interview by Inci Bowman. International Committee for Crimea. 2007. http://www.iccrimea.org/reports/emirovainterview.html.

"Crimea's Forgotten Children Fight Back." Foreign Policy Crimeas Forgotten Children Fight Back Comments. March 11, 2016. http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/11/crimeas-forgotten-children-fight-back-tatars-ukraine-russia/.

Goble, Paul A. "Russian Occupiers Cut Classes and Schools in Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian -- EUROMAIDAN PRESS." Euromaidan Press. September 9, 2015. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://euromaidanpress.com/2015/09/06/russian-occupiers-cut-classes-and-schools-in-crimean-tatar-and-ukrainian/.

Goble, Paul A. "Under Russian Occupation, Crimean Tatar Language Rights Exist 'only on Paper,' Turkish Rights Activists Say -." Euromaidan Press. June 17, 2015. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://euromaidanpress.com/2015/06/17/under-russian-occupation-crimean-tatar-language-rights-exist-only-on-paper-turkish-rights-activists-say/.

"Moscow Changes School Curricula of Crimean Tatar Language on the Peninsula." Moscow Changes School Curricula of Crimean Tatar Language on the Peninsula. February 5, 2016. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://112.international/politics/moscow-changes-school-curricula-of-crimean-tatar-language-on-the-peninsula-2456.html.

"Crimean Schools Shortened Crimean Tatar Language Classes." Religious Information Service of Ukraine. September 16, 2014. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/other_confessions/islam/57665/.

"Russian-appointed 'Prosecutor' Poklonskaya Suspends Crimean Tatar Mejlis." Uatoday.tv. April 13, 2016. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://uatoday.tv/politics/russian-appointed-prosecutor-poklonskaya-suspends-crimean-tatar-mejlis-630326.html.

"Сражение за Крым." Издательство «Просвещение» изо всех сил стремится заполучить контракт на оснащение школ полуострова: Общество: Россия: Lenta.ru. October 6, 2014. Accessed April 15, 2016. https://lenta.ru/articles/2014/10/06/krim/.

"Дон ТР." От российского издательства ‘Просвещение’ Крым получит почти 600 тысяч школьных учебников. August 7, 2014. Accessed April 15, 2016. http://dontr.ru/vesti/obshchestvo/3723269-ot-rossijskogo-izdatelstva-prosveshchenie-krym-poluchit-pochti-600-tysyach-shkolnykh-uchebnikov/


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Monday, April 3, 2017

Hypocrisie: La Nouvelle Belle Langue?

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Hypocrisie: La Nouvelle Belle Langue?

By Kevin O’Keefe

Kevin O’Keefe is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in French Studies, with a double minor in Political Science and Global Studies. He took French 418 in the spring of his junior year in 2016, after returning home from a semester abroad in Paris, France in the Fall of 2015, where he studies French politics and the European Union at Sciences Po.

For centuries, people across the globe have spent years of dedication working to master of the French language and reach its “refined nature”. To these people, there is a simple je ne sais quoi that makes French seemingly drip with culture and sophistication. The efforts of the French to maintain this level of linguistic refinement have been unparalleled through the ages, as French became the single and only official language of the French state through numerous processes and pushes for monlinugality and purification of the French language. (Radford, 1).

However, in recent times, the beauty and grace of the French language has begun to be described in quite a different way- hypocritical. As France’s language policies modernize and seek to embrace the teaching of prominent foreign languages, many have begun to ask how the French nation can condone this behavior while at the same time continuing to undermine and suppress regional minority languages within its own borders.

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France’s national linguistic policy rests on one specific goal meant to safeguard against the domination of foreign languages over French ways of living, which states the importance of the notion of "one country, one language" (Melvin, 2). In order to maintain this ideology, which has roots dating all the way back to the French Revolution when leaders hoped to unify the broken French state under a shared linguistic structure, France has taken incredibly bold steps to downplay the influence of minority languages not only in France’s Parisian capital, but in territories and regions throughout the nation and the Francophonie. For example, France has refused to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and thus little can be done to help spread, maintain, or fortify the presence of minority languages throughout the nation (Radford, 1). Languages such as Breton, Basque, Corsican, and Occitan have become relegated to strictly cultural use with limited regional sponsorship and infrequent educational usage, while also being listed as only unofficial languages of the state (Costa and Lambert, 3). These languages all have extremely deep roots in French history, yet the French state has done everything in its power to eradicate these languages in accordance with its monolingual policy aims.

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It would seem that France’s monolingual goals of promoting French as the official language of the nation would also apply to limiting the influence of other major Western languages in the same way they have nearly stomped out regional minority languages. However, quite the opposite has occurred, particularly in the field of education. As times have changed and western nations like the United States have come to prominence, France has doubled its efforts to stress the importance of learning a foreign language in its educational framework. According to the French Diplomatie, “France promotes linguistic diversity by encouraging the teaching of a wide range of foreign languages, in both the national education system and through certified language centers,” (France Diplomatie, 1). The educational system has installed the teaching of English and other foreign languages at every level (elementary, secondary, and high school level) and has done so with the goal of being able to “reinforce the learning of foreign languages to ensure that every student leaving high school is proficient in at least two modern languages in order to succeed in the professional world,” (France Diplomatie, 1).

The increased presence of foreign language in French schools demonstrates the hypocritical dimensions of the language discourses in France: on one side the French’s own goal of achieving monolingual supremacy within their own borders, at the expense of what has already been done to the nation’s regional languages, but also an increasing desire to not be left behind the rest of Europe with regard to other powerful languages of the world, especially English. In pursuing education in foreign languages, the French are allowing the influence of French to be pushed aside and another language to be used and communicated with, thus undermining the work so many generations of French politicians and linguists have done in promoting the French language to superiority. The French face a serious challenge as English and other languages enter the classroom, as future generations will have multilingual skills from a young age, and their entry into the work force will potentially have massive effects on the idea of French supremacy in a world in which English, Spanish, and Chinese have already begun to take a more prominent role on the world stage.

Works Cited

Costa, James, and Patricia Lambert. "France and Language(s): Old Policies and New Challenges in Education. Towards a Renewed Framework?" France and Language(s): Old Policies and New Challenges in Education. Towards a Renewed Framework? N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2016. https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00439199

France 24. "French Schools to Boost Foreign Language Learning." France 24. N.p., 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. http://www.france24.com/en/20150311-france-education-boost-foreign-language-learning-middle-schools-english

Melvin, Joshua. "Hypocrisy? France and Its Regional Languages." - The Local. N.p., 23 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. http://www.thelocal.fr/20140123/in-france-there-is-only-one-language

"Multilingualism in France." France Diplomatie. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2016. http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony/promoting-multilingualism/article/multilingualism-in-france

Radford, Gavin. "French Language Law: The Attempted Ruination of France's Linguistic Diversity. | Trinity College Law Review (TCLR) | Trinity College Dublin." Trinity College Law Review TCLR Trinity College Dublin. N.p., 04 Mar. 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. http://trinitycollegelawreview.org/french-language-law-the-attempted-ruination-of-frances-linguistic-diversity/


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Language and Terrorism: The Case of ETA

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Language and Terrorism: The Case of ETA

By Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is a senior studying Communication and Spanish. After graduating, she will pursue a career in Human Resources. She studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain in the Spring of 2015, where she was immersed in the Basque culture and was surrounded by the unique language. This blog entry is based on her experiences and research on the interface of political and linguistic issues regarding Basque.

For forty years, the terrorist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) brought violence to the Spanish Basque Country (Bieter, 2013). Even five years after a permanent cease-fire was announced in 2011 (Bieter, 2013), graffiti in Euskera, the ancient Basque language that now holds co-official status in the region (Heidemann, 2004), supporting the ideals of ETA can be seen around the streets of Bilbao, Spain. Like elsewhere in Europe, nationalistic ideals among Basque people grew in the late 19th century, especially with the activity of Sabino Arana (Pereltsvaig, 2011). There was an industrial boom when iron deposits were found around Bilbao, and the industrialization of the area brought many migrant workers, causing what Arana and others believed to be a threat to the Basque people (Putnam-Pite, 2012). Arana started a Basque nationalist movement to “preserve Basques’ unique identity – their language, their rural, agricultural traditions, even their physical characteristics” (Bieter, 2013) as a solution to combat the effects of industrialization. The goal of ETA aligns with these ideals, working towards “an independent Basque Country that included the three provinces lost to France… using all means possible, including violence” (Bieter, 2013). The biggest difference between the ideals of Arana and ETA is that ETA shifted away from emphasizing race and ethnicity as the foundation of the Basque nation, and replaced it with the use of the Euskera (Putnam-Pite, 2012).

Additionally, the ETA terrorist group, listed as the fourth most active terrorist group in the world from 1970 to 2010 in the University of Maryland terrorism database (Bieter, 2013), has rightfully been criticized by many. One of those critics is journalist Stephen Mackey (2008, May) who argued that ETA was causing harm to the Basque language by turning it into an ideological choice instead of an open language. Their broad concept of nationalism tends to create a divide that excludes “others” or those who do not speak the language. This is the type of exclusion created the extreme unity that ETA emphasized in order to justify their cause. Euskera provided a source of togetherness that Basque people could rally behind since many would condone the extreme violence. Mackey (2008, May) also wrote about different instances where the younger generation had been taught to support ETA using the Basque language in the settings of privately-owned Basque language centers. In one center, students were given directions in Basque on how to create Molotov cocktails, while in another they wrote letters in Basque to prisoners who had been convicted for terrorist activities. Conducting extremist behavior in a minority language gives the impression that these young citizens are part of an exclusive club, and encourages the use of Euskera when supporting the agenda of ETA.

Continuing on, the ability for Basques to speak their language is a right that had been confiscated numerous times throughout history, most notably during the Franco regime of 1936 to 1975 (Putnam-Pite, 2012). One of Franco’s governors was first to enact the public use of Euskera. The reasoning behind this act was to prohibit the public use of Euskera, and hefty punishments were used to enforce this prohibition (Putnam-Pite, 2012). This lack of respect undoubtedly inspired a unified people, who were denied a piece of their freedom; ETA utilized the leftover unified populous to rally support for their agenda. Language in general makes up a significant part of a national identity; as such it was a smart decision by ETA to pick Euskera as a unifying factor for the Basque people who backed their ideological goals. For ETA, Euskera was their only sense of togetherness due to the fact that many of their other objectives were extreme; anyone who could speak Euskera became a Basque, and was included in their movement for an independent and unified Basque Country (Pereltsvaig, 2011). This inclusiveness and unity of a large group of unique people is almost admirable, if it were not for the violent ways they attempted to achieve their goals. These atrocious behaviors distracted the public from their unified vision; branding ETA as a terrorist organization rather than a group fighting for a national identity.

Source
In this picture, the ETA symbol has been spray painted on a building. The symbol consists of an axe, which represents armed struggle, and a snake which represents either watchfulness or politics. The slogan “bietan jarrai” means “go forward both ways” which is sometimes interpreted as ETA will pursue both violent and political routes to get Basque independence (Tremlett, 2010).

Works Cited

Bieter, M. (2013, November). The rise and fall of ETA. https://thebluereview.org/rise-fall-eta/

Heidemann, K. (2004). Education and minority language revitalization: Stories of struggle and success from the basque country. Conference Papers – American Sociological Association, 1-30. doi:asa_proceeding_34313.PDF

Mackey, S. (2008, May). Basque language schools in ETA row. https://www.tes.com/article.aspx?storycode=75740

Pereltsvaig, A. (2011, December). Linguistic nationalism among the basques. http://www.languagesoftheworld.info/student-papers/linguistic-nationalism-among-the-basques.html

Putnam-Pite, C. (2012, July). Terrorism in the basque country: Violations and protections of human rights. http://prospectjournal.org/2012/07/09/terrorism-in-the-basque-country-violations-and-protections-of-human-rights/

Tremlett, G. (2010, September). ETA’s ceasefire statement decoded. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/06/eta-ceasefire-statement

List of Links:

https://thebluereview.org/rise-fall-eta/

http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/0/8/6/8/pages108688/p108688-1.php

https://www.tes.com/article.aspx?storycode=75740

http://www.languagesoftheworld.info/student-papers/linguistic-nationalism-among-the-basques.html

http://prospectjournal.org/2012/07/09/terrorism-in-the-basque-country-violations-and-protections-of-human-rights/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/06/eta-ceasefire-statement


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Is Yiddish on a path to extinction?

Is Yiddish on a Path to Extinction?

By Juliana Ramirez

Juliana Ramirez recently graduated with an Accounting degree and French minor from the University of Illinois. In the Spring of 2016, Juliana took French 418 to learn about the minority languages in Europe and finish her French minor. In the near future, she will start a summer internship at an Accounting firm in Chicago and come back to Champaign in the Fall of 2016 to pursue a Masters in Accounting.

One of the most predominant languages of the Jews up until a century ago is on a path to extinction. Yiddish, which originated as early as the 9th century, provided the nascent Ashkenazi community with an extensive Germanic based vernacular fused with elements taken from Hebrew and Aramaic, as well as from Slavic and Romance languages (Jewish Generation) of the particular linguistic environment. The language is primarily native to Central, Western, and Eastern Europe, Israel, and regions with high Jewish populations. As part of the Indo-European language family, Yiddish has roughly 2 million speakers worldwide, according to the Council of Europe (Zaagsma). However, because of its vulnerability to extinction, Yiddish is officially recognized as a minority language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Ukraine.

Source: BBC News
The population of Yiddish speakers decreased tremendously during WWII due to the killing of native speakers by the Nazis and the assimilation of Jews into linguistic communities; nonetheless, the language itself had already been on a decline before the war. On the eve of WWII, there were 11 to 13 million Yiddish speakers; this number decreased by roughly 85 percent by the end of the war (Katz). The majority of Jews able to escape throughout the WWII period migrated to Israel or to the United States, where they found Yiddish to be an impractical language and thus learned English and other prevailing languages. For those unable to escape, like the Yiddish population in the Soviet Union, found their language outlawed by Stalin during and after the Holocaust (Shyovitz). As a result of the Holocaust and repressive measures in place by governments, Yiddish came to an almost immediate standstill and continued to do so for decades. However, there have been movements by Jewish organizations and cultural centers to revive Yiddish in modern day.

Source: Pew Research
In unstable, bilingual or multilingual speech communities, languages lose their last native speakers quickly and thus leading to language death. Sudden, radical, gradual, and bottom-to-top are all types of language death. In the case of Yiddish, it is not yet dead, but it is on the path to extinction. Yiddish experienced sudden, radical and gradual language declines during some years throughout its history. Sudden language decline occurred primarily during the Holocaust because of the significant and rapid loss in population. On the other hand, radical language decline, which occurs abruptly due to the threat of political or social persecution, transpired throughout the course of the Yiddish language’s history. Many Yiddish-speaking communities abandoned their culture, traditions, and way of life in order to avoid acts of violence or discrimination. Consequently, after WWII many found Yiddish to be the language of their ancestors and thus obsolete. During this time, Yiddish experienced gradual language decline, arising when minority languages are in contact with dominant languages, and the native speaking population gradually shifts to adopting a new language. Sometimes the use of a language is not considered advantageous, parents do not pass it on to their children, or its use is discouraged by society or by the government (Rozovsky).

Source: Wall Street Journal
As for Yiddish today, 76 percent of Yiddish speakers in the US live in the New York metro area, with another 6 percent in the Poughkeepsie metro area, 4 percent in the Miami metro area, and 2 percent in the Los Angeles metro area (Basu). This goes to show how the majority of Yiddish speakers live in just four metropolitan areas in the entire US, making it more difficult for the language to gain recognition and expand; however, there are efforts to improve the usage of the language. Likewise, the 2007 American Community Survey on Language Use counted just 158,991 people who spoke Yiddish at home in the United States, a drop of nearly 50 percent from 1980 to 2007 (Basu). Like in the US, Yiddish populations continue to reside in small communities throughout Europe and mainly Israel.

When languages die, entire cultures, communities and identities vanish as well. In the world today, there are 6,800 languages spoken. However, almost half are endangered, and nearly 90 percent of languages will disappear by the end of this century (Rozovsky). Throughout history, languages have been born, developed and discarded; yet, only Basque, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Persian, Sanskrit and Tamil have had lives of more than 2,000 years (Rozovsky). As economic and cultural globalization and development continue to push forward, growing numbers of languages will become endangered and eventually extinct. With increasing economic integration on national and regional scales, people find it easier to communicate and conduct business in the dominant lingua-francas of world commerce: English, Chinese, Spanish and French (Malone). Only time will tell if and when Yiddish will face extinction along with other languages.

Works Cited

Basu, Tanya. “Oy Vey: Yiddish Has a Problem.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/yiddish-has-a-problem/379658/

Katz, Dovid. YIDDISH, the Historic Language of Ashkenazic (central and East European) Jewry, Is the Third Principal Literary Language in Jew (n.d.): n. pag. Web Archive. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

Malone, Elizabeth. “Research Areas.” Language and Linguistics: Endangered Language. National Science Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/linguistics/endangered.jsp

Rozovsky, Lorne. “Path to Extinction - The Declining Health of Jewish Languages.” Chabad. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

Shyovitz, David. “Yiddish: History & Development of Yiddish.” History & Development of Yiddish. Jewish Virtual Library, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/yiddish.html

“The Unity and Diversity of Human Language.” 29 Apr. 2009. Middlebury. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.  http://cr.middlebury.edu/public/usoltan/intd0111a-s09-html/content/lecture22_language_death.pdf

“YIDDISH DIALECTS.” Jewish Generation. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/givennames/yiddial.htm

Zaagsma, Gerben. Public History beyond the State: Presenting the Yiddish past in Contemporary Europe. Public History beyond the State: Presenting the Yiddish past in Contemporary Europe. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Belarusian on the Road to Revival

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia
Belarusian on the Road to Revival

by Alyssa Lowery

Alyssa Lowery graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2016 with a B.A. in Linguistics and Spanish. She wrote this blog post as a student in SPAN 418 ‘Language and Minorities in Europe’ in Spring 2016.

Many people assume that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marks the revival of Belarusian in Belarus; others believe the Ukraine Crisis has prompted the Belarusian people to begin reviving their language and culture; however, with a 2015 article on The Guardian stating that “no more than 10% of Belarusians say they communicate in Belarusian in their day-to-day lives,” it’s easy to question whether this is actually the case (Barushka, 2015). The question now is: is the Belarusian language being revived at all?

During and immediately following the collapse of the USSR, there was certainly an increase in Belarusian language policies, such as the new Language Law, which “expected that Belarusian would become the language of science, culture and the media within three years; the language of congresses, conferences and state decrees within three to five years; of business within five years; and legal matters within a decade,” along with more minor laws following, including the Law on Culture, Law on Education and Law on Languages. (Bekus, 2014: 31) Given that only 10% of Belarusians use the language in their everyday lives, it is safe to say that the Language Law did not meet its expectations.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Soviet Union, signs of revival should be seen by now. Despite the bleak statistic offered by The Guardian, they are – even if the increase isn’t as drastic as officials predicted it would be after the new Language Law. According to Belteleradiocompany, each year on the first Sunday of every September, the Belarusian people come together to celebrate the literature of their language on Belarusian Written Language Day. This demonstrates 1) a strong pride for their language and 2) the preservation and use of their language through literature. Belteleradiocompany also states that as of 2015, the Belarusian Writers’ Union included 590 writers. Another positive sign for the Belarusian language is the free group language courses such as Mova ci Kava (Language or Coffee), Mova Nanova (Language in a New Way) and Movaveda popping up and continuing to grow in popularity (Astapenia, 2014). Additionally, the language has been put into the education system. Classes in the Belarusian language as well as literature are taken between grades 1-9 according to the World Data on Education (7th Edition). So why are there so few people speaking Belarusian?

A major inhibitor of the revival of Belarusian is (or based on information presented in the following paragraph, it might be more accurate to say “was”) an internal factor: the Belarusian government. Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, declared in 1994 that "people who speak the Belarusian language cannot do anything else apart from speak the Belarusian language, because it's impossible to express anything great in Belarusian.” A major factor in the learning and survival of any language is the mindset of the people toward the language. For Belarusian to be dismissed by the president, who should be fighting to keep the language alive, negatively portrays the language to the people. A statement this bold and degrading to a language not only discourages Belarusian speakers and learners, but it also means nonchalant regulation of the protections already in place for Belarusian.

With that being said, Lukashenko made a completely reversed statement on January 29, 2015, demonstrating a new era and mindset toward Belarusian. Lukashenko passionately stated, “it [Belarusian] makes us different from the Russians. The native language is a distinctive feature of the nation. We must not forget the Belarusian language. We must know it as well as the Russian language. It is will be the biggest pride for the any Belarusian. I do not want this legacy to be lost.” Lukashenko’s positive statement toward Belarusian, after two decades of promoting Russian and dismissing the nation’s language, changes the mindset for the country and also portrays optimism to his people that he will not only create policies for the language but also accurately enforce them. One very important person can make a big difference.

Taking into account where the Belarusian language started before the collapse of the Soviet Union and analyzing where it is now, to answer the question posed above, yes, there is a spark in the revival of the Belarusian language. The new positivity and passion surrounding Belarusian cannot be missed. UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger still classifies the language as vulnerable, but with a recently changed mentality toward the language among government officials, Belarusian seems to be on the road to revival.

Works Cited

Astapenia, Ryhor. "Is Lukashenka Trying to Emancipate Belarus from Russian Culture?" Belarus Digest. 03 Oct. 2014. Web. .

Barushka, Katerina. "After Decades of Russian Dominance, Belarus Reclaims Its Language." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 28 Jan. 2015. Web. .

Bekus, Nelly. "“Hybrid” Linguistic Identity of Post-Soviet Belarus." Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe 13.4 (2014): 26-51. Web. .

"Belarusian Written Language Day Celebrated Annually on First Sunday of September." Belteleradiocompany. 27 Aug. 2015. Web. .

"Lukashenko: Belarusian Language Issue Has Been Resolved Once and for All." Belarus News: Belarusian Telegraph Agency. 29 Jan. 2015. Web. .

UNESCO-IBE, comp. "Belarus." World Data on Education 7th Edition (2011). Web. .


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Monday, February 6, 2017

Italy’s Apathy Towards Neapolitano’s Imminent Death

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Italy’s Apathy Towards Napolitano’s Imminent Death

By Moisés G. Contreras

Moisés G. Contreras is a Junior at the University of Illinois majoring in Psychology and Italian, with a minor in Latina/Latino Studies. After completion of his degrees, he hopes to spend a year teaching English abroad. Naples is one of his favorite Italian cities, and very probably the site of his studying and teaching abroad plans.

The relationship between the majority and the minority can be detrimental, especially when it is overlooked and equity is not at the forefront. It is then interesting to apply this idea in a linguistic realm, where minority languages are mainly esteemed poorly and as not worthy of acknowledgement. In the situation of Italy and the question of regional and minority languages, the main issue is the vigorous and inconsiderate spread of Standard Italian across the state. There is legislation in Italy to protect certain minority languages, (Law 482/1999), but this law is not enough for the protection and cultivation of Italy’s regional languages. What is the particular reason that Neapolitan, for example, is not protected by a similar legislation, or even recognized in general for that matter?

The Neapolitan language is spoken in the southern part of Italy in regions like Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, Lazio, and others nearby. This is roughly the area once covered by the Kingdom of Naples, after which the language was named. With the conception of the Kingdom and the language begins the vast and rich history of Neapolitan culture in literature, music, theater, and more. In regards to the Neapolitan musical history, la canzone napoletana, or “Neapolitan song”—which refers to the music sung in the Neapolitan language— is considered lightly prominent globally. For this reason, many say that the Neapolitan language is therefore the most known and exported worldwide amongst the Italic languages. And while it is a great tool to disseminate the Neapolitan language, this does not necessarily mean it is a tool being used to instruct the language or ensure its vitality by any means.

Unfortunately, this prominence is satisfactory for many political actors, since “the languages that show a higher degree of vitality tend to be less promoted, in the sense that fewer associations and organizations exist to protect them and their presence is more limited in education (including adult education)” (Coluzzi, 2008, p. 223). This mindset is extremely harmful to any regional language and it highlights the neglect many of these languages receive. With the propagation of Standard Italian thanks to, (or perhaps blamed to), mass media, institutional instruction, and other methods, this “ongoing process of Italianization… is slowly eroding these [regional and minority] languages from the inside” (Coluzzi, 2008, p. 219). For now, though, Standard Italian and Neapolitan are barely mutually intelligible, considering their distinct grammatical differences in lexicon and structure.

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Despite the steady decline in use of regional languages, made clear by ISTAT survey responses, there still is only a meager amount of laws and policies that make any type of effort to protect them. Sure, there is Law 482/1999, but it only offers protection to twelve minority languages in Italy. Even without much knowledge of this law, the map provided offers an idea of exactly which languages are protected, (mostly the languages of the minority communities in the nation). Although even with this protection, Friulian and Sardinian, sometimes regarded as varieties of Italian, “are usually considered to be a ‘poor’ or ‘impure’ image of the idealized language” (Iannàccaro & Dell’aquila, 2011. p. 38). The negative image that Italian ‘dialects’ are given alludes to the problem at hand: there is a severe lack of importance placed on protecting the languages of the many different cultures in Italy.

This “deliberate socio-political behavior” (Iannàccaro & Dell’aquila, 2011, p. 37) against the proper protection and preservation of these languages cannot be tolerated. It is as if political officials are willingly oblivious to the fact that, again referring to Neapolitan, there are many signals as to the decline of the language and its current eventual death. With UNESCO’s 9 factors, we can pinpoint a couple of these indicators in the Neapolitan language. In terms of intergenerational language transmission, probably the most important factor in ensuring a language’s vitality, Neapolitan has been graded as unsafe. This finding, coupled with the lack of Neapolitan instruction in educational institutions, paints a dreary picture for the future of the language as well. And mass media might as well be an accomplice to this attempted language murder, since it has very minimal response to new domains and media. It comes to no surprise to know that Neapolitan has no official status in any Italian region, despite its prominence.

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Neapolitan was merely the language in question in this post; however, it can be used as a representative of Italy’s regional languages and the injustice they are served. While the standardization of the Italian language is an exemplary method to unify the nation and build an identity that was missing up to recent times, it is disheartening to see what is consequently being neglected. Italy is a mosaic formed by the different cultures found within the regions in the peninsula. To be unbothered by the eventual loss of these regional languages would be ironic and counterproductive to cultivating and fundamentally understanding the true Italian culture and identity. May Italy and more importantly the Neapolitan people never forget, in the lyrics of a Neapolitan song, “comme si' bello, oje core napulitano”, (how beautiful you are, oh Neapolitan heart).

Works Cited.

Coluzzi, P. (2008). Language planning for Italian regional languages (“dialects”). Language Problems & Language Planning. 215-236.

Iannàccaro, G., Dell’aquila, V. (2011). Historical linguistic minorities: suggestions for classification and typology. Int’l. J. Soc. Lang. 29-45. 

https://easyglot.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/cropped-napoli.jpg

http://www.sportellolinguisticopinerolese.it/uploads/source/inquadramento.jpg

http://napoli.pinkitalia.it/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/04/I-napoletani-sanno-scrivere-in-napoletano.jpg

Core napulitano. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik1R5pb5ki8


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Monday, January 23, 2017

Understanding the French Who Refuse to Speak English

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Understanding the French Who Refuse to Speak English

By Raphaela Berding

Raphaela Berding is a second year graduate student in European Union Studies. Her interests are in sociology, and she plans to complete a PhD in this field. Her research focuses on European culture and identity. She is from Germany and received her Bachelor’s degree in Multilingual Communication and Translational Studies. Berding has made her entry available in English and German as well.

Most non-French speaking travelers who have visited France might have experienced that some French do not answer in English when tourists ask them for directions. Since the overall attitude in France towards English is that it is “the most desirable language to possess in one’s linguistic repertoire” (Costa and Lambert 2009, 19), one can assume that these French might not have sufficient knowledge of English, and that it is not part of the French curriculum. However, this is not the case. In the French education system, English is the dominant foreign language (21) and in 2008, the former Minister of Education declared that he wanted every student to become bilingual in English (19). Furthermore, English is studied by the majority of students, and their number is increasing (20). So at least the younger generation should have sufficient knowledge of English to be able to give directions to an American tourist. Hence, there must be another reason for the French attitude towards English, and this might be the pride of their own language. Could it be an exaggerated pride? French used to be a “prestige lingua franca for centuries” (Wright 2006, 35) which is why one might think it is legitimate for the French to be so proud of their language. Even though French is said to be an easy language to learn for English speakers (Knowlton 2014), it has its difficulties, and particularities even in the graphic level, like accents, ligatures and special characters.

Throughout the francophone world it is not an unusual claim that French has “special qualities” (Wright 2006, 35). It seems that the French want the world to pay attention to these special qualities and their language again. In 2014, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development published the “Promoting French Worldwide” strategy (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development 2014). Also, recently the French culture ministry has called for the creation of a new keyboard that would make it easier to use the special characters making the French language so unique (Breeden 2016). Indeed, some characters like the cedilla (ç) or ligatures (æ or œ) do not have dedicated keys and have to be inserted by complex keyboard shortcuts.

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But why are the French so concerned about their language and its spread? Is this attitude a legacy of their colonial power? And why are they so much more reserved about the promotion of linguistic diversity than other European countries, even though, according to Wright (2006), the French elite claims that plurilingualism is “necessary for healthy international development”? (50)

In order to understand the French attitude towards their language it is helpful to look at the history of France. We can observe a loss of power and influence after France dominated in political, economic, cultural, technological, and ideological areas in the 17th and 18th centuries, and people therefore wanted or needed to learn French because it was useful and profitable for them (Wright 38). Furthermore we can see a passing of several laws to protect the French language internally (Costa and Lambert 2009)

In 1539, French became the official language in administration areas throughout the kingdom of France (Costa and Lambert 2009, 16-17). Later, under the rein of Louis XIV, France expanded its territory both in the Spanish and German-speaking world, and with the territorial expansion came the language expansion (Wright 2006, 37). French was declared to be used in negotiations and even replaced Latin as the written language of diplomacy (ibid.). At the same time, Paris was the major cultural and scientific center of Europe, and thereby produced more reasons for people to learn French (ibid. 37-38).

All of this changed during the 19th century and France’s position on the continent was challenged, mainly by Germany, which was economically and militarily strong, Britain, which was a strong imperial power, and the United Stated, whose influence grew (ibid. 38-39). With the decreasing influence of France, also the French language lost its prestige. Hence, French was accompanied by English as a medium of discussion in the negotiations of the treaties after World War I, and even eliminated as a language in the negotiations after World War II (ibid. 39). Internally however, the Jules Ferry school laws from 1882 excluded any other language than French (Costa and Lambert 2009, 18), showing the rising concern of the French about the influence of their language.

The legacy of the decreasing influence of French in the 19th century after it was flourishing in 17th and 18th century might be part of the reason why some French nowadays refuse to speak in English. They are insecure about their, and jealous the other language and want to show the world that their nation is not giving in to the dominance and temptation of speaking English. They probably hold on to their Golden Age, to the time when French was the dominant language in Europe, and everybody wanted to learn it.

In the end, the evidence presented might indeed give the impression that some French refuse to speak English to prove people thinking the French influence is declining, wrong. However, another aspect that is worth mentioning, and might explain the attitude of French towards English, is that the French law has traditionally supported this special attitude and linguistic ideology in France. The Loi Toubon from 1994, a law relating to the usage of the French language, mandates that French is used as the “language of instruction, examinations and competitive examinations, as well as theses and dissertations in State and private educational institutions.” (Wright 2006, 51) This reminds of the Jules Ferry laws from 1882. From this derive two conclusions. First, the French are not using English, namely because they are afraid of making mistakes while speaking it because they don’t know how to because the French law prohibits the use of English once the student graduate from high school. So instead of speaking broken English they rather pretend not to know English at all. Second, it shows that the attitudes presented are mainly institutional and come from the conservative population. Costa and Lambert (2009) point out that “language policy is a manipulative tool in the continuous battle between different ideologies” (16). As Wright (2006) explains, the French people “are aware […] that to reject English means to stay outside the global forums […] and this is a sacrifice they do not appear to be willing to make to pursue a national language policy.” (54) In other words, the French people are open to use English, but it is mainly the mainstream policy makers do not want to accept initiatives that involve approaches to plurilingualism (Costa and Lambert 2009, 24).

Works cited:

Breeden, Aurelien. “France Pland a New Keyboard to Shift Control the Typists.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, Jan 22, 2016. [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/23/world/europe/france-plans-a-new-keyboard-to-shift-control-to-typists.html?_r=1]

Costa, James, and Patricia Lambert. "France and Language (s): Old Policies and New Challenges in Education. Towards a Renewed Framework?." (2009). 15-26. PDF File.

Deng, Boer. “English Is the Language of Science.” Slate. The Slate Group, Jan 6, 2015. Mar 8, 2016. [http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/01/english_is_the_language_of_science_u_s_dominance_means_other_scientists.html]

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Promoting French Worldwide. Directorate-General of Global Affairs, Development and Partnerships, 2014. PDF file.

Knowlton, Emmett. “The Easiest And Most Difficult Languages For English Speakers To Learn.” Business Insider. Business Insider, May 27, 2014. Mar 8, 2016. [http://www.businessinsider.com/the-hardest-languages-to-learn-2014-5]

Wright, Sue. "French as a lingua franca." Annual review of applied linguistics 26 (2006): 35-60.

IN GERMAN

Die Gründe Wieso Einige Franzosen Kein Englisch Sprechen Wollen

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Die meisten nicht-Französisch sprechenden Reisenden, die schon einmal in Frankreich waren, haben es vielleicht schon erlebt, dass einige Franzosen sich weigern auf Englisch zu antworten wenn sie von Touristen nach dem Weg gefragt werden. Die generelle Einstellung in Frankreich ist, dass Englisch die beste Sprache ist, die man in seinem Sprachrepertoire haben kann (Costa und Lambert, 2009, 19, eigene Übersetzung). Deshalb könnte man annehmen, dass einige Franzosen einfach nicht genug Sprachkompetenz in Englisch haben, und dass de Sprache nicht Teil des Curriculums in Frankreich ist. Dies ist jedoch nicht der Fall. Englisch ist die vorherrschende Fremdsprache im französischen Bildungssystem (ebd. 21, eigene Übersetzung), und vor einigen Jahren erklärte der damalige Bildungsminister, dass jeder Schüler Sprachkompetenz in Englisch erwerben solle (ebd. 19, eigene Übersetzung). Ein Großteil der Schüler lernt außerdem Englisch, und die Anzahl steigt immer weiter (ebd. 20, eigene Übersetzung). Deshalb sollte doch zumindest die junge Generation genug Sprachkompetenz in Englisch haben, um englischsprachigen Touristen den Weg zu erklären. Es muss daher eine andere Erklärung für die Einstellung der Franzosen zur englischen Sprache geben, und die lässt sich im Stolz auf ihre eigene Sprache finden.

Französisch war für Jahrhunderte eine angesehene Lingua Franca (Wright, 2006, 35, eigene Übersetzung), weshalb es vielleicht legitim ist, dass Franzosen so stolz auf ihre Sprache sind. Obwohl Französisch für englische Muttersprachler einfach zu lernen sein soll (Knowlton, 2014, eigene Übersetzung), ist das geschriebene Französisch mit seinen Akzenten, Ligaturen und besonderen Schriftzeichen, sehr kompliziert. Es ist tatsächlich nicht unüblich in der frankophonen Welt zu sagen, dass Französisch „spezielle Qualitäten“ hat (Wright, 2006, 35, eigene Übersetzung).

Es scheint, dass die Franzosen nun wieder Aufmerksamkeit auf diese speziellen Qualitäten und ihre Sprache lenken wollen.2014 veröffentlichte das Französische Ministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten und Internationale Entwicklung die „Strategie zur weltweiten Promotion von Französisch“ (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, 2014, eigene Übersetzung). Außerdem setzte sich das französische Kultusministerium kürzlich dafür ein, eine neue Computertastatur zu erfinden, damit es einfacher wird, die für die Französische Sprache so besonderen Schriftzeichen zu benutzen (Breeden, 2016, eigene Übersetzung). Tatsächlich haben einige Schriftzeichen, wie die Cedille (ç) oder Ligaturen (æ oder œ) keine eigenen Tasten, und können nur durch komplexe Tastenkombinationen eingefügt werden.

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Aber wieso sind die Franzosen so besorgt über ihre Sprache und deren Verbreitung? Ist ihre Einstellung das Erbe von der Zeit als Kolonialmacht? Und wieso sind Franzosen so viel zurückhaltender über die Förderung von Sprachenvielfalt als andere Europäische Staaten, obwohl, die französische Elite laut Wright (2006) behauptet, dass Mehrsprachigkeit „notwendig ist für eine gesunde internationale Entwicklung“? (50, eigene Übersetzung)

Um diese Einstellung der Franzosen verstehen zu könne, ist es hilfreich einen Blick in die Geschichte Frankreichs zu werfen. Nachdem Frankreich im 17. Und 18. Jahrhundert politisch, ökonomisch, kulturell, technologisch und ideologisch dominierte, und viele daher aus Gründen der Profitabilität und Nützlichkeit Französisch lernen wollten oder mussten, verlor Frankreich an Macht und Einfluss (Wright, 2006, 50, eigene Übersetzung). Die Franzosen erließen zudem einige Gesetze um die Sprache intern zu schützen (Costa und Lambert, 2009, eigene Übersetzung).

Französisch wurde 1539 zur offiziellen Sprache in der Verwaltung im Königreich Frankreich (Costa und Lambert, 2009, 16-17, eigene Übersetzung). Unter der Herrschaft von Louis XIV erweiterte Frankreich sein Territorium sowohl im spanisch- als auch deutschsprachigen Gebiet, und mit der territorialen kam die sprachliche Ausbreitung (Wright, 2006, 37, eigene Übersetzung). Französisch sollte in Verhandlungen gesprochen werden, und ersetzte sogar Latein als die geschrieben Sprache der Diplomatie (ebd., eigene Übersetzung). Zur gleichen Zeit war Frankreich kulturelles und wissenschaftliches Zentrum Europas, und bot somit noch mehr Gründe um Französisch zu lernen (ebd., eigene Übersetzung).

Während des 19. Jahrhunderts änderte sich dies, und die vorherrschende Position Frankreichs wurde vor allem vom ökonomisch und militärisch starken Deutschland, von der Kolonialmacht England, und den immer einflussreicher werdenden Vereinigten Staaten herausgefordert (ebd. 38-39, eigene Übersetzung). Mit dem sinkenden Einfluss Frankreichs verlor gleichzeitig die französische Sprache an Prestige. In den Verhandlungen nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg zum Beispiel war Englisch die zweite Verhandlungssprache neben Französisch, welches in den Verhandlungen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg sogar komplett gestrichen wurde (ebd. 39, eigene Übersetzung). Innerhalb Frankreichs wurden mit den Jules Ferry Schulgesetzen von 1882 jede andere Sprache außer Französisch ausschlossen, was die wachsende Besorgnis der Franzosen über ihre Sprache zeigt (Costa und Lambert, 2009, 18, eigene Übersetzung).

Das Erbe des sinkenden Einflusses von Französisch nach seiner Blütezeit im 17. Und 18. Jahrhundert könnte einer der Gründe sein, wieso einige Franzosen es heutzutage vermeiden, Englisch zu sprechen. Sie sind unsicher über ihre eigene Sprache, und neidisch auf die andere, und wollen der Welt zeigen, dass ihre Nation sich nicht der Versuchung und Dominanz des Englischen hingibt. Sie halten möglicherweise an ihrem Goldenen Zeitalter fest, als Französisch die dominante Sprache in Europa war, und jeder es lernen wollte.

Die Ausführungen hinterlassen den Eindruck, dass einige Franzosen es vermeiden Englisch zu sprechen, um denjenigen, die denken, dass der Französische Einfluss sinkt, zu zeigen, dass sie falsch liegen. Allerdings ist auch zu bemerken, dass die französische Gesetzgebung die spezielle Einstellung der Franzosen zu ihrer Sprache und sprachlichen Ideologie traditionell unterstützt. Das Loi Toubon von 1994 etwa, was die Benutzung des Französischen reguliert, schreibt vor, dass Französisch als Unterrichts- und Klausursprache, als auch als Sprache für Arbeiten und Dissertationen in staatlichen und privaten Institutionen benutzt werden soll (Wright, 2006, 51, eigene Übersetzung). Dies wiederum erinnert an die Jules Ferry Schulgesetze von 1882. Daraus lassen sich zwei Dinge schließen. Erstens, Franzosen sprechen kein Englisch, weil sie aus Mangel an Sprachwissen Angst davor haben Fehler zu machen, da Gesetze es verbieten, Englisch nach Beendigung der Schule zu benutzen. Zweitens, die Einstellungen sind hauptsächlich institutionell, und stammen von der konservativen Bevölkerung Frankreichs. Cosa und Lambert (2009) unterstreichen, dass „Sprachpolitik ein manipulatives Instrument im ständigen Kampf der Ideologien ist“ (54, eigene Übersetzung). Wright (2006) erklärt, dass Franzosen sich darüber bewusst sind, dass die Abneigung gegenüber Englisch dazu führt, dass sie außerhalb des globalen Forums bleiben, und dass sie nicht bereit sind, Opfer zu bringen und keine Änderungen in ihrer nationalen Sprachpolitik machen wollen (54, eigene Übersetzung). Mit anderen Worten, die französische Gesellschaft ist zwar offen gegenüber der Verwendung von Englisch, aber die etablierten Entscheidungsträger wollen keine Initiativen, die Ansätze zur Mehrsprachigkeit enthalten, akzeptieren (Costa und Lambert, 2009, 24, eigene Übersetzung).
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