The Soul Dies When Language Is Buried

In Part 1 of a four-part series, Sinjoro Eng urges us to examine our native languages and how long they will survive.

Are you the one holding the modern gadget in your hand and yet you speak next to none of your tribal language?

It is a common scenario in Malaysia. Many are so used to it that they feel nothing is missing. It is too common that many felt it is as if a norm in the society. Yet is it a norm?

It was only a few generations ago that our former colonial master, the British Empire, tried to kill the minority languages in our countries, one by one throughout the entire planet, wherever the portrait of the Queen was placed.

Recently I posted a topic called “Protect the Endangered Language” (PEL) in an e-group. What did I get in response? Nothing — just the cold shoulders from the members of thehighly literate.

Later, I posted a few news reports to tell the members how serious the languages are dying off and how few are under the non-government projects on the road to recovery, especially in Australia. There was no interest shown either.

If you have a heart for the souls of others or your own community, read on.

Language is the soul of the people. Without the language, there is no soul.

I write only a few words here and instead  display more short films for you to ponder this time. I do not like to spoonfeed the readers after years of writing on the topic of language. I would like to see, and perhaps, train the youth to think and look at things from different perspectives.

The short films are in languages that Malaysians can understand, and most certainly not in Esperanto. If you cannot understand them, you should prepare to learn Esperanto which costs you only 150 hours to master.

3,000 languages may be extinct within 100 years — one of them can be yours.

This one may be a comedy, but it’s also a heartbreaking look into what it means to be one of the ‘banana people’ of Malaysia. If you are preparing to change your ways and learn Chinese, please take up 100 hours of Esperanto first before you jump into the sea of characters . Esperanto helps you save 40% of the learning time you would otherwise spend on learning Chinese; this is called propaeduetic values.


Featured image by Simmons Undergraduate College.

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After watching the 8 minutes short film of the late Dr Claude Piron on the chanllenge of language, Sinjoro ENG has himself revolutionised. Watch it and see whether the short film will touch you too.

Posted on 4 June 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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