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The Fall of Language in the Age of English$
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Minae Mizumura

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163026

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163026.001.0001

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The Future of National Languages

The Future of National Languages

(p.175) 7. The Future of National Languages
The Fall of Language in the Age of English

Mari Yoshihara

Juliet Winters Carpenter

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the future of non-English national languages in a world that uses the English language as the “international” language. It argues that each nation will suffer tensions between encouraging English fluency and protecting its own language. This chapter first turns to the Western Germanic and Nordic nations, where there is a risk that the population might eventually become more attuned to Anglophone culture than to its own heritage. Because writing in English comes easily for users of Germanic languages, more writers might begin to write literature in English with a world audience in mind. The chapter then highlights the case of India, whose government is trying to encourage the spread of Hindi as India's national language, while remaining under the obligation to strengthen regional languages as well. It concludes with an examination in Japan, analyzing how Japanese schools have failed to teach the modern canon of Japanese literature.

Keywords:   national languages, English language dominance, international language, own language, Western Germanic nations, Nordic nations, Germanic languages, India, Japan

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