help me finding a book about language and identity

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  1. charfy

    charfy عضو جديد

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      12-10-2007 15:29
    besmellah2:
    :besmellah1:

    salut a vous tous c moi charfy pouvez vous maidé a trouver un livre qui parle sur la language et sa relation a lidentité des etres humains please please je veu quil soit en anglais car ca va maider a ma memoire de maitrise
    merci bien et jazakom allahou khairaaa:kiss::hi:
    jenkins par exemple social identity​
     
  2. houba

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      13-10-2007 17:35
    Language and Identity

    By Anna M. Garcia
    "In the beginning was the Word. And the word was made flesh.
    It was so in the beginning and it is so today. The language,
    the Word, carries within it the history, the culture, the traditions,
    the very life of a people, the flesh. Language is people. We
    cannot conceive of a people without a language, or a language without a people. The two are one and the same. To know one
    is to know the other." Ulibarri 1972

    There are several questions that come to mind as I reflect on language and identity. "How does language and identity affect a persons individuality? How does language and identity affect a person’s behavior? Does language and identity contribute feelings and thoughts through expression? Does culture express though these feelings and thoughts also? As a teacher and educator, what approaches can I provide for an effective learning environment for both language minority and language majority students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds? I began reflecting on my own individuality being that I am Hispanic and Native American. I will discuss on my own personal experiences and thoughts in combination with Bilingual Education’s research on language and identity.

    The American Heritage Student Dictionary defines the word language; the use by human beings of voice sound and often written symbols representing these sounds in organized combinations to express and communicate thoughts and feelings. The word identity is defined; the condition of being a certain person or thing; individuality. So by combining language and identity, we would have, the use by human beings of voice sound and often written symbols representing these sounds in organized combinations to express and communicate thoughts, feelings and his/hers individuality.

    In the book, Bilingual and ESL Classrooms, Carlos J. Ovando reflects on this quote from Ulibarri (1972) "In the beginning was the Word. And the word was made flesh. It was so in the beginning and it is so today. The language, the Word, carries within it the history, the culture, the traditions, the very life of a people, the flesh. Language is people. We cannot conceive of a people without a language, or a language without a people. The two are one and the same. To know one is to know the other." (pg. 4)

    I was very fortunate to be raised tri-lingual in English, Spanish, and Tewa. My mother is a Native American from Isleta Pueblo. My mother and her immediate and extended family spoke the Tewa language. When we would go visit the family or participate in religious ceremonies, the Tewa language was always spoken. I will always remember how soft-spoken my family was, and still is to this day, my families from Isleta speak in a soft-spoken voice. As soon as the conversations began, so did our accents. We didn’t realize we had an accent, but our accent somehow came so naturally with our language. In the article, "First Language Acquisition," D. Brown speaks about Sapir-Whorf hypothesis regarding "world view." He goes on by saying, "The issue at stake in child language acquisition is to determine how thought affects language, how language affects thought, and how linguists can best describe and account for the interaction of the two." (pg. 37) I am not a linguist, but I do know that by interacting among my mother’s family, my thoughts affected my language and my language affected my thoughts because this is how I began learning and acquiring my Tewa language.

    For example, you’ve heard the phrase; "They’re going by Indian time." This is definitely a phrase that defines time for a Native Americans. Everything and everyone slows down, especially time when entering Isleta Pueblo. I can see each person’s unique behavior, as they express their thoughts and feelings through language. When I arrive at my grandmother’s home (my grandpa’s deceased) we begin our greeting with a hug and a kiss. My grandma Lupita will ask me in Tewa, "Who-ba-ye hita?" "How are you my child?" (hita is used in both Spanish/Tewa languages) I will respond, "Cuo-way, her-cum." "I’m doing well, thank you." I feel when I respond my greetings and conversations in Tewa with my grandmother and my family members, that I am responding with respect...respect for my elders and my culture. I feel through my language that I am Native American. I am Native American through my language. Ironically, my family speaks English very well. In his chapter, Brown continues by explaining, "But we do know that language is a way of life, is at the foundation of our being, and interacts simultaneously with thoughts and feelings. (pg. 38)

    Culture is very much part of our identity. When visiting my grandma Lupita, usually we share a meal with the native foods; Indian bread baked in the hornos; chicken and rice; potato salad; sopa; sweet bread and pies. The summers are my favorite because she’ll have fresh vegetables and fruits from the garden. I can honestly say that I have never eaten frozen dinners or pizza at her home. As I look around the living room, I can see beautiful colorful handmade Indian blankets lying on the couches. On the shelves around the kitchen and living room, my grandma proudly displays the pottery she and my grandpa made; or have bought from other pottery makers. The smell of burning wood in the stove is very distinct in the air. I have always remembered this smell as a child. Also, there are pictures of family members hanging all over the walls. I find it so fascinating that she still has pictures of all her children and grandchildren when we were infants and in elementary school. (I forgot to mention) Her daughter, son-in-law, and their three daughters also live with grandma. This is very much part of our custom, the children take care of their parents.

    I was fortunate as a child; to grow-up with my father’s family whom most of the family spoke the Spanish language. I do remember that my grandpa spoke very little English, so to have conversation with him, we had to speak Spanish. Unlike my mother’s family in Isleta who were soft spoken, my father’s family were very loud and noisy (they still are). When we would get together for family occasions, the noise level would rise because everyone spoke at the same time. Before we knew it, everyone was competing to see who could speak the loudest. There was a lot of hugging and kissing. I could also see each person’s unique behavior in my family, as they expressed their thoughts and feeling through language. When I arrived at my grandparent’s home, we began our greetings with a hug and a kiss. My grandma Sofia would ask me in Spanish, "Como esta hita?" "How are you my child?" and I would respond, "Muy bien gracias." "I’m doing well, thank you."

    Again, culture is a part of our identity. When I walked into my grandparent’s home, I would share a meal with our native foods; steaming hot tortillas fresh off the grill (puela) and I couldn’t wait to spread butter and watch it melt. The smell of fresh beans and red chile ****ing over the stove. There was also my grandma’s natilla’s cooling off to side, waiting to be eaten after our meal. Usually, my parent’s and grandparent’s would eat first. My sisters and I would sit in the living room patiently until the adults were done eating, then it was our turn. There were pictures of children, grandchildren, and family members hanging on the thick adobe walls of my grandparent’s living room also.

    In her book Bilingualism, Suzanne Romaine states, "At the semantic level a bilingual may be able to express meaning better in one language than another, particularly in relation to certain topics or in certain contexts." (pg. 13) When I’m with my father’s family, whom most of them are bilingual Spanish speakers, we can express our thoughts and feelings very comfortable in the Spanish language. Last week, my dad’s brother had open-heart surgery and about fifty family members were in the hospital waiting room. Most of the time, my Tia’s and my Tio’s would speak in Spanish as they expressed their fears and concerns. I could feel their anxieties and fears by the way they were expressing themselves through their voices and hand movements. Six hours later, the doctor came in and explained to the family that the procedure had gone well. As soon as the doctor walked out the door, my Tio’s began explaining the same details in Spanish to the family. It seemed so much more comforting to my family when the words were explained in Spanish. Why? Because my Tio’s explained the words with more compassion, love, and understanding. We all cried and said, "Gracias a Dios!" Through this, I could see and hear the Marquez’ families express and communicate their thoughts and feelings through the Spanish language.

    What approaches can I provide as a teacher and educator for an effective learning environment for both language minority and language majority students; and with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds? Suzanne Romaine states, "I start from the premise that bilingualism is a resource to be cultivated rather than a problem to be overcome." (Bilingualism, pg. 7) During my first two years teaching, I had the opportunity and privilege to work with language minority speakers. The school consisted of 85% Bilingual Spanish speakers and 10% monolingual students. Since I was the only native Spanish speaker in this school, my classroom consisted of bilingual and monolingual Spanish students, except for two or three students. I was frightened because this was my first year of teaching and didn’t have the educational background in Bilingual Education. Also, my conversational skills in Spanish were no comparison to my Mexican American students. I knew at this time that I was responsible for delivering the best education and to do everything possible to educate these children in their languages. As an educator, I am responsible to provide an effective learning environment for both language minority and language majority students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Researchers such as Jim Cummins explains, "Bilingual education is presented not as a plot by "Hispanic activists" (as some have argued) but as a series of approaches that are being implemented in countries around the world to provide effective learning opportunities for both language minority and language majority students." (Bilingual and ESL Classrooms, Ovando/Collier, June 1997, Forward pg. x)

    "School actually plays a modest role in language acquisition, the bulk of which occurs outside the school. In schools we must learn to teach language in a way that preserves and respects student’ individuality at the same time that we empower them to learn how to be responsible and responsive members of learning communities." (pg. 87) I attended the ESL/Bilingual Endorsement Institute this past summer. During the First and Second Language Development class, participants were having a discussion regarding language and schools. A woman explained that she lived in Farmington and had completed her student teaching at a Farmington school. She told us of a young Navajo girl who spoke very little English and usually kept very quite in the classroom. As time progressed, they became friends. The woman was impressed because the Navajo girl was quickly learning and speaking the English language. One day the woman asked the young girl if she would teach her Navajo. The girl’s response was, "I don’t want to be Navajo and I don’t want to speak the Navajo language anymore!" I was quite sadden by this remark. My initial thought was, it’s obvious she encountered a negative experience in school, which unfortunately, has impacted her language and identity. "How the choices we make as we interact with students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds not only define our own identities as educators but also sketch an image of our society as we would wish to be and the contribution that our students can potentially make to the creation of this society." Ovando/Collier, June 1997, pg. x) The majority of the Navajo children and their families live in rural communities and speak only Navajo.

    As educators of schools, are we learning to teach language in a way that preserves and respects student’ individuality? Are we empowering students to learn how to be responsible and responsive members of learning communities? If schools play a modest role in language acquisition, then I ask, "Why has this Navajo girl chosen to disown her language and identity?" Research tells us that most likely, a non-English speaker’s first experience in an English environment will be in school. "As teachers, we are working with young people who are not only developing physically, emotionally, socially, academically and cognitively; we are also working with children who are developing culturally." "Children are not born with a culture; they learn it." (pg. 141) This Navajo child was born into a family, learned a culture, and years later, chooses to reject her individuality, her language and identity. I believe a series of events slowly altered the behavior and self-esteem of this Navajo girl. She was born and raised in a rural community; began the school experience; and eventually became a part of the larger dominant sociocultural environment.

    "In the case of language minority children, the process is a particularly interesting one as they build their cultural identity within the multiple context of their home environment, the school environment, and the larger dominant sociocultural environment."(pg. 141) Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to experience an environment that cultivated my culturally and linguistically diverse background as I attended public school. As I mentioned, I was raised in two unique cultures. I was a happy and content child with all the love anyone could hope for. My parents decided to send me to Isleta Pueblo Elementary when I was six years old. I would go to school with my family and walk to my great grandmother’s (Che-ee) home to help with chores. This is when I began my first school environment...except the environment was different. The six teachers weren’t the same color as we were and they spoke only English; fortunately, the custodians and ****s spoke Tewa. I can still smell the homemade lunches in brown paper sacks and the nature walks around the village. I remember reading the Dick and Jane books. It wasn’t the words I remembered, it was the pictures. The light colored skin children with blue eyes and beautiful blond hair; the pink and blue polka-dot dresses; the white house and white picket fence; and the dark green convertible car...this is when I began questioning my own identity.

    It was fascinating seeing the white house with the white picked fence. The only homes I ever had known were those made of adobe and there was no such thing as a picked fence. I admired Jane’s beautiful blond hair and polka dot dresses. Soon I began thinking that my long dark brown hair, blue Levi dresses, and brown shoes were ugly. I also began feeling embarrassed of my dad’s brown pick-up truck. I’ll never forget when I asked my mom for a pink polka dot dress and black patent leather shoes for an Easter present. I didn’t ever want to wear those stupid clothes and shoes I had in my closet, but my parents couldn’t afford to buy me those fancy clothes. My parents came home-excited one day with a blue Chevrolet car. I was so furious because it wasn’t a green convertible car and I actually cried because it wasn’t the car I wanted. One day at school, my friends and I were playing during the morning recess. It was a beautiful warm day and we were playing on the merry-go-round. We were having a great time laughing and screaming as the merry-go-round went faster and faster. The bell rang to go back to class. As the girls and I jumped off to head back to class, a teacher grabbed my hand and swatted it three times with a ruler. She did the same thing to my friend standing next to me. She told the both of us that we weren’t allowed to speak Tewa in school and this better not happen again. I don’t know what hurt me more; my swollen hand or my pride. Believe it or not, I went days without telling my parents because I felt humiliated, hurt, and ashamed. When I finally told my parents, their instructions were respect the teacher’s wishes and speak English only.

    It’s obvious these negative experiences in elementary school impacted my self-esteem, my language, and my identity. My parents were concerned because I became silent, withdrawn, and unhappy. They decided to take me to another elementary school. It was scary at first, but as soon as I heard the children speak in Spanish, I felt comfortable and secure...but this didn’t last long. Soon after, I saw children being punished for speaking Spanish in school and I was put in remedial reading because the teachers suggested that this would help my strong accent. I never knew what this meant, but my parents wanted what was best for me, and it was to succeed. When I heard the story of the Navajo girl not wanting to be Navajo and not wanting to speak her language, I knew exactly what she was feeling. I kept those painful feelings and fears hidden inside for many years. I was thirty-six years old when I began taking University courses and decided to take a Sociology class. The professor spoke of his negative experiences in school and how he was punished for speaking Spanish. At first, it was difficult to hear his painful ordeals, but it was comforting to hear his experiences and wasn’t ashamed to speak and share his stories, and more importantly, his success stories. I’m happy to say, this was the beginning of a healing process, and which I will always be grateful.

    How have my experiences affected me as a teacher? I’ve definitely gained an awareness and sensitivity towards the student home environment by providing a safe and enjoyable school environment. I have encouraged their importance as an individual and as a whole within the larger sociocultural environment by empowering my students to learn how to be responsible and responsive members of their communities. I am enriching my knowledge and expanding my education in Bilingual/ESL programs to learn how to teach language in a way which preserves and respects student’ individuality because schools play a modest role in language acquisition. Many years of research and human experiences have acknowledge the fact that language minority children build their cultural identity within the multiple context of their home and school environment; and within the larger dominant sociocultural environment. As professionals and educators, we must provide a supportive and effective learning environment through academic, natural language, and cognitive approaches. Importantly, providing a supportive socioculturally environment; building student’s self-esteem; and incorporating student’s culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in all academic subjects. Ovando and Collier explains, "Development of academic language is using language "to explain, to classify, to generalize,...to manipulate ideas, to gain knowledge, and to apply that knowledge" across all academic subjects." (pg. 93)

    The Albuquerque Sunday Journal (July 2, 2000) published an issue, "Hip to Hispanic-MANY LATINOS SAY THE REST OF THE NATION IS JUST CATCHING UP TO WHAT THEY ALWAYS KNOW: THEIR CULTURE IS COOL. The article emphasized the richness of culture, language, and heritage of Hispanic people in Albuquerque and the United States. My attention and emotions were captivated by the stories shared by those who were interviewed from Albuquerque. Jeanette Alderete said "I started rediscovering my heritage 20 years ago in college when I took Spanish classes for bilingual students and realized the language I grew up with wasn’t bad or wrong." She grew up in the South Valley, just a bit unsure of her Hispanic roots. "My family didn’t look like the family on ‘Happy Days.’ " "We were eating beans, chile and tortillas." "When you’re a kid, it’s hard to embrace something you’re not so sure is what others are going to see as American." She said college opened her eyes to her culture. "I started rediscovering where I came from." "I learned about my culture through history class. I never learned about (the late Senator) Dennis Chaves until I was in college." She reclaimed her Spanish language when she started taking Spanish classes with Erlinda Gonzales-Berry. "I wondered why it took so long for me to see it." "I asked my parents why they didn’t necessarily share all our heritage with us, like the language. Then I realized that when I was growing up they thought they were doing me a favor by not talking to us in Spanish. People had been telling them we wouldn’t get jobs if we did." Evelyn Sais explained that her awakening about her roots came about while she was at U.N.M. "When I was in college it was the birth of Chicano studies and the awareness of Chicano literature." "We were all seeing it and thrilled to have this part of us." "We were very proud of our heritage then...what we have now is acceptance."

    Reflecting on my own personal experiences, I truly believe that language and identity affects a persons individuality, affects a persons behavior, and does contribute feelings and thoughts through expression...through my languages I am Hispanic and Native American, and I am Hispanic and Native American through my languages. Reflecting on my professional experiences, I will continue to provide an effective learning environment for both language minority and language majority students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. As Suzanne Romaine explained so wonderfully, "I start from the premise that bilingualism is a resource to be cultivated rather than a problem to be overcome." (pg. 7) I also believe that Bilingual programs are as essential to provide an effective learning environment by cultivating culturally and linguistically diverse students through their language and identity.

    References
    Brown, D. (1994) Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New Jersey: Preutize Hall Regents. pg. 37-38.
    Ovando, C., & Collier, V. (1985). Bilingual and ESL In Classrooms: Teaching in Multicultural Contexts. New York: McGraw-Hill.
    Romaine, S. (1995). Bilingualism. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc.
    Chavez, B. (July 2, 2000) Journal Publishing Co. Hip to Hispanic-MANY LATINOS SAY THE REST OF THE NATION IS JUST CATCHING UP TO WHAT THEY ALWAYS KNOW: THEIR CULTURE IS COOL. The Albuquerque Sunday Journal


    :wlcm::wlcm:
     
  3. charfy

    charfy عضو جديد

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      13-10-2007 19:24
    thanks houba very very much you are so nice and gentel you proved to be realy the star of this forum thank you .please if you find some thing new please dont forget to inform me .
    CHARFY :kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss::kiss::dance::satelite:::
     
  4. houba

    houba نجم المنتدى

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      13-10-2007 20:18
    OK
    :satelite:
     
  5. houba

    houba نجم المنتدى

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      13-10-2007 20:41
    Language and Identity

    Europeans speak a hundred different languages, some on the verge of extinction. How much should we preserve our linguistic heritage? Jan Repa looks at some of the challenges present by Europe's minority languages - large and small.

    UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - lists over 100 European languages it describes as "endangered" or which have disappeared entirely in modern times. Sami, Sorbian, Friesian, Kashubian, Istro-Romanian cling on in various corners of Europe. But how long before they go the way of Gothic, Old Prussian, Polabian, Judaeo-Spanish, Manx, Cornish and a host of others, which have become extinct in the past couple of hundred years?

    "Languages are the pedigrees of nations", said Samuel Johnson - 18th century writer, critic and compiler of the first English dictionary. When a language dies, a way of seeing and interpreting the world dies with it. But new languages emerge as well. Political imperatives have split Serbo-Croat into Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian. Macedonian is still thought of by many Bulgarians as a Bulgarian dialect. So when DOES a dialect become a language? Alistair MacPhail of the European Commission's Language Policy Unit:

    "It's a slightly flexible thing. As language is very closely linked to identity - as people's sense of their group identity changes - their perception of their language as being a dialect or a separate language tends to change also. So we see new languages emerging."

    One of the great literary languages of Europe - though the chances are you've never even heard it. Occitan - the traditional language of southern France, and of the medieval troubadours, whose poetry of courtly love had a formative influence on the literary languages of Italy, Germany, England and Spain. Suppressed by a succession of centralising French governments, and degraded to the status of a peasant patois, it lingers on in outlying country areas:

    "This speech, which sounds so mellow on our maidens' lips, Once was the language of the troubadours. Now our maidens are ashamed to speak it."

    European states, from ancient Rome onwards, have been great destroyers of languages - usually in name of ideas like national unity or cultural progress. Bertrand Merciassi, comes from Brittany, at the other end of France. Breton - a Celtic tongue, related to Welsh - is enjoying a revival. Before the Second World War, schools in Brittany displayed signs saying, "Do not spit or speak Breton" - and teachers were instructed to beat children for using it:

    "There is no minority problem - there is a majority problem. If we compare the French Revolution with the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. This revolution wanted to change the people itself, the mentality, the human beings themselves. The Russian culture would represent the Bolshevik culture. The French culture would represent human rights, democracy - the credo of the French revolutionaries. But most of the time it is just a way to disguise national imperialism, such as the Russian or the French one."

    Margret Oberhofer comes from South Tyrol - a former Austrian region acquired by Italy at the end of the First World War:

    "Imagine yourself growing up. You can't express yourself. It's as simple as that. I strongly agree with Bertrand. It's not the minority that's causing the problem. We are asking for a basic right, that's all. In the case of South Tyrol, it was not allowed to speak German at all. You were really beaten up for speaking German in the street."

    Demonstrators in Spain's northern Basque country, demanding language rights and self-government soon after the death of the Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco, in 1975. Franco's slogan - "One, Great and Free" - implied the suppression of all Spain's languages, except the dominant Castilian. Basque, an ancient tongue believed to pre-date the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, was to be stamped out of existence. The Basque region today enjoys considerable autonomy - but the violent legacy of separatist terrorism lives on. Do linguistic minorities want too much? Over the water, in Canada, the once despised French-speakers of Quebec province are getting their own back. Marc Angenot, is a francophone professor who teaches at Montreal's anglophone McGill University:

    "The most ludicrous law is about the size of letters that you can use on posters. In Quebec, English must be one third the size of letters used in French. And the colour, of course. The hue of the colour must be also more prominent in French. That means that all the time people are in front of the courts, challenging such and such aspects of laws that are not applicable in many ways, because they are contrary to the Charter of Rights in terms of freedom of expression".

    Laurence McFalls, meanwhile, is an anglophone professor at the francophone University of Montreal:

    "The only thing that's keeping Montreal from losing its French face is the official protection given to the French language. If the city were officially biligual, the forces of assimilation to English would be even greater. The language laws which, for example, force immigrants to send their children to school in French, end up with the result that their children at least know some French by the time they're adults because they learn English anyway. At least the bilingual character of the city is maintained - as certain anglophones would say - by ramming the French language down people's throats."

    None of which stops the Metropolitan French from sneering at French Canadian linguistic barbarisms like "changez le tire" - "change the tyre" - or "*** de sac" instead of "voie sans issue". Insecurity is a feeling which many linguistic minorities - or communities that straddle national boundaries - have to live with. Eva Blaessar belongs to Finland's once influential Swedish-speaking community. Her experience is not unlike Margret Oberhofer's:

    "I grew up speaking Swedish in school, with friends, at home. Everywhere it's completely Swedish-speaking. But by heart I'm Finnish. I'm definitely not Swedish."

    "Has a Finnish-speaker ever pointed you out and said, 'Look, you're not a real Finn, are you, because you come from a Swedish-speaking background?'

    "Oh yes, it happens constantly. Finnish people might call Swedish-speaking Finns bad names etc. Finnish-speaking people actually have to study Swedish for a certain number of years at school - and this they protest against regularly."

    "Outside of South Tyrol you always have to explain your situation. If you go to Firenze (Florence) or somewhere, you have to say, 'I'm Italian but my mother-tongue is German'. If you go to Austria, they will say, 'Ah, you are a kind of Austrian'. If you go to Germany you also have questions like, 'Oh, is South Tyrol belonging to Germany?' It's sometimes very annoying that you always have to justify yourself."

    But speaking two major European languages like German and Italian also has its advantages:

    "In the case of South Tyrol, there are actually companies coming to South Tyrol because they know it's bilingual. The people there can communicate with Italians but also with the big German-speaking market. So South Tyrol is one of the wealthiest regions in Italy and it's always ranking in the top five in everything."

    But how much effort, realistically, should be expended in saving lesser-used languages? Gaelic - the official language of the Irish Republic. A century ago, English-speaking Irish intellectuals believed that a nation aspiring to independence should revive its old native language. Yet today, barely 20,000 people speak Gaelic on a regular basis - proving that you don't always need a separate language to have a sense of national identity. The Swiss have four languages - three of which they share with their neighbours - without feeling any the less Swiss. For the fledgling democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, their West European neighbours do NOT provide any obvious models.

    The Council of Europe's "Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" talks of the "value of multiculturalism and multilingualism" - but France and Greece refuse to ratify it. Advocates of "major" European languages, like French, German or Italian, often claim to be defending their own heritage against an encroaching tide of English: not the language of Milton and Shakespeare, so much as the international "demotic" of mass consumer culture. A trawl of European language websites turned up the following proposed solution:

    "I am sure that Latin, better than other languages, can help the peoples of Europe rediscover their roots and traditions".

    Theoretically a nice idea - after all, Latin was traditionally the international language of Europe - but almost certainly a lost cause. Eva Blaessar and Bernard Menciassi maintain that liguistic diversity is one of the glories of Europe - and can be accomodated within the "European project":

    "I think evolution will take its course no matter what you do. You're hearing us with our experiences of being minority speakers. I think the question of when is it worth preserving a minority language - that is very individual and very much up to each country and each population. What unifies Europe today are the different cultural identities and languages. This actually unifies Europe - it does not divide. When you are here in Brussels, for instance, you hear all the languages of Europe on the streets every day. And here it is very common that you meet people who speak four or five languages fluently."

    "I don't have a crystal ball. But I would see something like the full application of the subsidiarity principle regarding the language aspect. We could image that French and Breton would be official in Brittany. Then at the European level we could maybe think that there would be three-four official languages. The European 19th century decided that we should be monolingual human beings. Now I think we should have to get rid of this stupid idea, develop our natural skills and then the problem will be solved. In fact, we should forget about the concept of language itself, and just speak."

    The European Union is a unique experiment, whose final outcome - if such there will be - remains unclear. Some would obviously like to see a "Europe of communities", in which the nation-state - with its organising and corecive powers - is diluted away. In fact, this itself is one of the major areas of controversy, which the EU will have to address in the coming years - and the future status and viability of Europe's many languages could be strongly influenced by whatever solution is eventually arrived at. But after a couple of centuries of existence, the nation-state is unlikely to surrender easily.


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