Fate of Regional Languages


The other day I was looking for a Kannada novel on Flipkart, that a thought crossed my mind. How long will the regional languages continue to flourish? I’m primarily concerned about literature. It may well be another 100 years, that the regional literature would rather be confined to studies and research and not a source of entertainment.

It might look a little controversial to say this, but a few moments of rational ponder would tell you the same thing. Let alone be cities like Bangalore, even smaller towns like the place I am from are already diverging from the core study of their mother-tongue. Karnataka Government has already introduced English from class 1 in all government schools. (I wrote my first English word only in 5th standard!) Well, the trends are changing and it clearly is a necessary step, but what concerns me is the future of many other regional languages like my own Kannada. It’s ironical even I’m writing right now in some language else, but the point is not about not embracing other languages. It is about preserving our own.

I don’t see how any of this can change what is happening, but we certainly can delay the end. Our education system, media, and film industry have a big big role to play in this. Based on how they go about their business, the fates of the regional languages stand. I hope they would catch up the call and wake up!

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6 thoughts on “Fate of Regional Languages

  1. Very well timed stuff! Important is ‘Do we actually feel for our language or we simply talk about it?’, I asked so all because of my uncle. He always talks in lengths about philosophy, culture and all but when time comes to put it down in reality, he hinders himself behind all his words!! Most recently he asked me to ‘always speak with his daughter in English’, who can’t even clearly speak out in mother tongue!! But i never attempted such stupidity, I feel ma comfortability will be lost in doing so…..

  2. Well it may be true what u r concerning for. I don’t know about other languages, but dealing with kannada what I still believe is, the above won’t happen. The reason why I’m saying this is, this language survived from more than 2000yrs just through stone scripts and also by the people who speak it. We should not forget there were no paper writings and computers like we have now at that time when the language was evolving.

    I think this grown language can be saved using the technology what we have now and also by the people who speak it.

    Some where I read, “The thing which keep changes will survive for long time”. I think same for the language too. The same happened with kannada in those long 2000yrs, and we saw many changes inour language. From old kannada to Middle Kannada now the new one.

    And the thing u said in last paragraph,

    ** I don’t see how any of this can change what is happening, but we certainly can delay the end. Our education system, media, and film industry have a big big role to play in this. Based on how they go about their business, the fates of the regional languages stand. I hope they would catch up the call and wake up!**

    Damn true it is. They have really big role to play in this, including the people who speak it as their mother tongue.

    • Thanks for your words! A language evolves, alright. My point is, how many of the kids today are really passionate about Kannada literature? how many opt to pursue an MA or BA in Kannada literature? This wasn’t the case in our times right? The number is swiftly decreasing and we all know it.
      Of course the language that existed since a long time will continue to exist no matter what happens, but only as a dialect I’m afraid!

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