Mind Your Language : A hilarious comedy revolving around a class full of non-native English speakers trying to learn the English Language to no avail. Besides the amusing jokes through poking fun at the various countries and languages, the plot of the series is very much relevant in today’s society: Is there a need to learn English?
Before I delve into my own opinions for this topic let me direct your attention to 2 very intriguing videos about the English Language compared to other languages. (Note the second video is in Arabic but there are subtitles)
Patricia Ryan tells us about how there are over 6000 languages in the world but languages are dying at an unprecedented rate of 1 every 14 days. At the same time, English is the undisputed global language and she claims that there might be a link between these two events. In her point of view, the English language has become a barrier and an arbitrary equivalence to one’s intellectual capacity. What we discredit is that people might know certain things but only in their own language. Hence she wants us to learn to love diversity and in so doing appreciate all languages because when a language dies, we don’t know what dies with it.
Suzanne enlightens us about how society today perceives those who have no knowledge of English as backward and ignorant. She then begins to explain to us the importance of our own mother tongues and why it’s worth preserving. One of her points is that a language encompasses a culture, thoughts, intellect as well as memories. Thus she argues if this is all worth giving up for the sake of modernization. Even though she concedes that Arabic (her mother tongue) is not practical as it does not aid in the study of science or in research, she believes it is still a mother tongue worth learning as it is her key to learning any other languages. One can only express himself clearly in another language if one knows how to do so in his own language. Furthermore, killing a language would be as good as killing a nation. Language also represents specific stages in our lives and the terminology linked to our emotions. It helps mould how we think, how we see each other and how others see us. It is an identity and a state of existence. Therefore, the last thing we would want to do is kill our language or any language as a matter of fact.