Of all the predicaments so entwined in a civilization, there is none so close to the heart as language. Language IS civilization. There is a deep connection in this frolic of phrase that bears more value than what one may just hear. It goes beyond listening. Civilization in turn needed an extension of its soul…this was the birth of language. A way to somehow capture a glimpse of that which can never be tangible. When you threaten the existence of language, you then threaten the existence of the civilization itself.
All too often today, this threat is so absolute to even perceive of the danger this bears for all of humanity. Being so caught up in ourselves we forget this delicate balance of language and meaning which enmeshes our daily lives. We forget the utter importance of the profound message behind the language. The power, the inhabitance and the being. It is not that one is more important than the other; one more captivating than the next. It is the very essence of originality. The ability of a language to be uncommon, that is where the real beauty lies. None can deny that if you take something of deep value from a culture, that there will be catastrophic consequences. When you take this very personal extension and make it essentially nil, you are killing the soul. When you eradicate a language, it kills the soul of all humanity. It slaughters an authentic and meaningful connection between one world and another. No matter the language, it serves a special and absolute place in the world. Whether spoken in prevalence or spoken in the face of absence… one cannot forget they are all of great importance and purpose.
The devastation of that which can never be retrieved again, that is a detriment to ALL humanity. There is a special message contained within every distinct tongue. It is the extension of soil, of blood. The power is very real and frighteningly tangible. It is by no common fate that as society continues its descent, so the language follows. Or perchance, it is the other way. When the death of language happens, therein wisdom is lost. Some things may transform this divide of wisdom, but some of the meaning will be lost forever.
“When a language creates — as it does — a community within the present, it does so only by courtesy of a community between the present and the past.” -C. Ricks
Language relies on past not just in the sense of what was said before, but more importantly what was once thought. He who cannot oblige his past, can neither oblige his future. Therefore the deeper the connection with what once was, the closer the meaning we can derive. This brings a very direct affect on language. Language was a bridge for our ancestors to communicate that which was quickly becoming lost. Today, we couldn’t be farther from this reality. It no longer is a bridge but an accessory to a nihilistic existence. It no longer sustains the soul but kills it. Not even a second thought is given to all the language that is dying at this present moment. What a sad state of interest this is! How can this be even a reality? Please take a momentary glimpse into the past…Remember that which was lost. Its as simple as finding the truth in language…
I wish life was not so short, he thought. languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.
Take a moment to revisit a couple of our words(of the English language) that was lost*:
As a noun, it meant “mind, heart and spirit” but with a sense of perception, of knowing through the heart. It could serve as word for the concept we fumble at with words like “emotional intelligence” or trivialize with phrases like “women’s intuition”.
Used to mean “star,” and is evidently at the root of modern words like “twinkle,” but may be a homely alternative to the icy “star”.
It meant “old” and “wise” at the same time. In a similar vein would be DOUTH, as a sort of counterweight to “youth” derived from the old verb dungan, meaning “be good for, be strong”. A more vigorous and honorable word than “middle age” to describe the accumulation of life experience and maturity.
*Take note that this is not exemplary of the original spelling, but rather a facilitation for pronunciation purposes. A special thank you to the author Douglas Harper for the above facts and witty translations.
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