https://www.duolingo.com/EliasPitts

Does politics effect the reputation of a language?

I'm not going to mention any language or country, don't worry, but when there is a rivalry between two countries, would the people of those countries not practise eachothers languages?

1 year ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gunnar388832
  • 25
  • 24
  • 22
  • 20
  • 19
  • 16
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 250

Politics certainly affects what is defined as a language, as in "a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot". However, I think in everyday life practicalities are more important. I had a flatmate from Gaza and he spoke Hebrew, although he was hardly a big fan of Israel.. Though obviously, if the rivalry is so bad and contact so limited that people no longer have any use for the other language that is sure to have an impact.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cluney2

Interesting, good question. I would say so. Like for example I wouldn't want to learn Arabic cause not only would it be of no use to me but it is used in so many bad things that it just looks unsavory to me. So I certainly think so.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
  • 23
  • 21
  • 20
  • 16

That's an interesting opinion for an English speaker who is studying German. I don't know if a language itself can be used in bad things, but a language can certainly be used by some bad people. If I refused to learn a language that has been used by a bad person, I would have to resort to conlangs invented within the last couple of years and that doesn't sound all that appealing to me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apeironic
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8

I think thats an unfortunate and short sighted approach. Arabic is used by millions of people all over the world for things mostly unrelated to either religion (which is distinct from terrorism), or terrorism. To simply write off millions of people because a highly visable ultra minority of people share a their language is insane. To disengage from the Arabic speaking world over this would have huge humanitarian costs. Anyone who speaks Arabic is not unsavory nor is the language unsavory. Its not a secret language terrorists created to identify other terrorists, its the native tongue of millions of everyday people seeking to make it through life, and a lingua franca of a world struggling with humanitarian crisis'.

Also, if you disagree with the politics of the Arabic world - this is all the more reason to learn the language - to engage the people, to make available other perspectives, to pay attention to the wrongs of others and pressure them to change their behavior. Disengaging and dismissing everyone who speaks Arabic as unsavory is xenophobic, and does nothing to solve our problems in the western world, or the problems of the Arab world. And such xenophobia seems to be contrary to the entire purpose of language learning.

Also, far from only being used for disagreeable things (beyond the mundane usage of daily life), Arabic has a rich cultural history. During the christian dark ages, the Arabic world kept greek work safe, invented algebra (dervived from an Arabic word), advanced chemistry and other sciences.

Learning a language is not a tacit endorsement of everything that has ever been said in that language. Surely this must be appreciated by someone learning German - or honestly any other language. There has been talk of trying Bush Cheney as war criminals, and Obama admitted the United States actions constituted torture which is a war crime and illegal internationally. Unfortunately, international politics are ugly. If you are seeking to learn a language that has never been spoken by people doing things you disagree with, you will have no language at all.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cluney2

I agree. I don't hate Arabs. I don't hate anyone because of their country or culture of origin. Nor do I think that the politics of the Arabic world are necessarily always bad. Although the question stated Does politics effect the reputation of a language?. So I gave my opinion. I do agree with you that the Arab world has a rich history. A great history indeed. I do think that the religion of the majority of Arabs in the Middle east is not very good and made an unpossitive impact on the Arab world. But I do understand where you're coming from and agree that we need to look at people individually (you didn't actually say that but I think that was really the essence of your comments). I do not see the reason of learning a language that is mainly, remember mainly, used by a culture which I think is not the best the world has ever seen.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apeironic
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8

You keep trying to connect language to religion in a way that I reject. Although from an Islamic perspective Arabic has special status, from a secular perspective there is no such connection. Arabic is simply a language. To equate learning Arabic to a factual endorsement of Islam is incorrect. Arabic is like any other language, primarily used for everyday life, rather than for religion. To claim that learning Arabic is useful only religion is factually incorrect - its primary usage is arelgious.

Furthermore, Islam should be seen with much more subtly than you allow it.

Your claim that learning Arabic is an endorsement of the politics, ways of life, or religion of the Arabic world is incorrect. Its like saying learning Russian is an endorsement of Putin's Russia, the Eastern Orthodox church (compared to other churches) , and the invasion of the Ukraine. Or that Learning French is endorsement of French speaking African Dictators or previous French Atrocities. Or learning Portugues is an endorsement of Brazil's corruption or previous Military Dictatorship, or the imperialism of the Portuguese. Or Speaking English, is an endorsement of the United States interventionist politics, Donald Trump, slave trade, mass incarceration in the US, or British Imperialism.

The truth is, you cannot attach a moral status to learning a language. To so implies a nebulous connection to the actions of others to your agency. Sharing the same tongue is not sufficient reason to share blame. Which is why militaries learn tongues of enemies for Intelligence.

If you stop trying to politicize Arabic based on some kind of inconsistently applied prejudice - Learning Arabic is bad because of bad arabic speakers, but other languages are fine - You face an intresting challenge and perhaps learn something. Arabic is a Semitic language unrelated to the Indo-European languages. Russian, English and Latin are all more related to each other than to Arabic. Arabic is rated by the FSI to be one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. As someone who has only studied Indo-European language grammar, this sounds fascinatingly alien to me. The infection of words is done through something called a trilateral root where vowels are inserted into different positions in a root to make new words in what we consider different classes. I think such a foreign organization would be fascinating to study and could only teach us something. Also, the calligraphy is beautiful. There is a lot to be seen if you don't force a political perspective on to obtaining knowledge.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cluney2

I won't pretend that that comment hasn't swayed my opinion. It sounds like a very great language. I believe now that if I had time and a purpose to I would indeed learn Arabic. I do still hold that a culture does affect the reputation of a language. But now I've decided to instead encourage people to not look at the general culture that the language generally belongs to. And instead the language itself.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Midnightwards666

Absolutely. The torture in many such countries and the lack of tolerance is unacceptable, so I would never learn such a language. I don't think it directly affects the language, but the language is part of the country, and the culture represents the country.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apeironic
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8

I think thats an unfortunate and short sighted approach. Arabic is used by millions of people all over the world for things mostly unrelated to either religion (which is distinct from terrorism), or terrorism. To simply write off millions of people because a highly visable ultra minority of people share a their language is insane. To disengage from the Arabic speaking world over this would have huge humanitarian costs. Anyone who speaks Arabic is not unsavory nor is the language unsavory. Its not a secret language terrorists created to identify other terrorists, its the native tongue of millions of everyday people seeking to make it through life, and a lingua franca of a world struggling with humanitarian crisis'.

Also, if you disagree with the politics of the Arabic world - this is all the more reason to learn the language - to engage the people, to make available other perspectives, to pay attention to the wrongs of others and pressure them to change their behavior. Disengaging and dismissing everyone who speaks Arabic as unsavory is xenophobic, and does nothing to solve our problems in the western world, or the problems of the Arab world.

Also, far from only being used for disagreeable things (beyond the mundane usage of daily life), Arabic has a rich cultural history. During the christian dark ages, the Arabic world kept greek work safe, invented algebra (dervived from an Arabic word), advanced chemistry and other sciences.

Learning a language is not a tacit endorsement of everything that has ever been said in that language. Surely this must be appreciated by someone learning German - or honestly any other language. There has been talk of trying Bush & Cheney as war criminals, and Obama admitted the United States actions constituted torture which is a war crime and illegal internationally. Unfortunately, international politics are ugly. If you are seeking to learn a language that has never been spoken by people doing things you disagree with, you will have no language at all.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JessicaYoung3

if desire to speak a language was relative to the amount of bad there was in the world of their speakers no one would ever learn a language and I feel that would be a pity. when you don't take the time to learn a language I feel you are missing out on a part of yourself you would never know. how can you say weather another view point is right or wrong unless you have see the world from that perspective. and how can you fully see from that culture or perspective without being able to immerse in its culture in some way if you don't speak the language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/7Us91
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2

Yea, of course it will

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimmohB

I believe so.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EliasPitts

Thanks for answering!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Juanfox64

Rivalry between two countries -- that speak the same language? It happens a lot in South America (example Peru vs Chile). People tend to just make fun of slang words each country uses, but that's it I think. They still listen to the same Spanish music and that tends to get people together regardless of where you are from.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apeironic
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8

There would probably be an uptake in each learning the others language , if for no other purpose than intelligence.

1 year ago
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.