Writing 121 4:00 PM
Essay #1 ( Fixed Version)
November 19, 2013
In “Tribal Talk” by Michelle Nijhuis and “Speaking in Tongues” by James Geary, both writers talked about how the hundreds of thousands of different tribal languages spoken in the past by millions have been cut down in half. The death of these languages brought devastating effects to the human society, because as the languages begin to disappear, the culture and traditions that was tied to the language will slowly die off also. Dying languages aren’t just a thing of the past. Hundreds of languages, and its’ culture, have been lost in the past century, and many lesser known languages are near the brink of extinction. Efforts should be made to protect and preserve the remaining languages in the world, so that no more unique cultures and traditions will be lost.
Consequences that the death of a language brings can be shown in “Tribal Talk”. Languages are dying, and they’re dying at an alarming rate. Half of the unique languages in North America alone has become extinct in the last two hundred years. Nijhuis says, “Of the 300 languages spoken in North America at the time of European settlement, 150 have disappeared completely.”(5) Lack of practice had contributed the most to the death of the languages. For instance, the Black foot language became endangered because many Native Americans were forbidden from speaking their native tongue by their parents. Cynthia Kipp says, “ ‘We were told,’ You’d be better off learning only English.” (5) Language is more than a tool for communication, it’s also a representation of a distinct culture and heritage. “The language allows kids to unravel the mysteries of their heritage.”(4) Without everyone’s own tribal language, there is no way for the younger generations to reveal what their ancestors left for them to learn: their heritage.
Even though “Tribal Talk” was only talking about one language, the...