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43 percent of languages of the world endangered

21 February 2024 10:24 pm - 15     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Feb 21 (Daily Mirror) - The importance of preserving mother languages were stressed today with the revelation that 43 percent of the 7,000 languages in the world have become endangered.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in Colombo Tareq Md Ariful Islam led the campaign for the preservation of mother tongues during an event organized by the High Commission, the Ministry of Education and the National Scouts Association of Sri Lanka to commemorate the International Day of Mother Languages.  

“Around 43 percent of the 7,000 languages in the world have become endangered today. More than 40 percent of the people who speak different languages do not have access to education in their mother tongues. It is time we turned the tide,” High Commissioner Islam said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry also stressed the importance of languages and thereby stressed that languages bring about harmony in spite of diversity.  

“Sri Lanka is a nation which uses two state languages, Sinhala and Tamil and uses English as a link language,” he said.

Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha also said Sri Lanka is a nation which uses three languages.

“Sinhala and Tamil are two national languages. Both these languages were used as modes of education especially after the 13h Amendment was enacted. We now provide education in English from Grade six. We have also allowed higher education institutes to conduct their study courses in any language of their preference,” he said.


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  Comments - 15

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  • mila Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:55 PM

    Why do we need to speak English in Sri Lanka when our language is Singhalese? Why do these Europeans need to dominate everywhere with their Western culture and their English? We should be proud of our languages and stop worshipping English. Why do children in Sri Lanka speak English at home? If people can't speak English, they humiliate you. What is wrong with our people? Only English should be allowed to be spoken with people who do not know Singhalese. If the government does not take action, we will lose our identity and become a copy of these Western cultures. Our people are speaking English, bleaching their skin, and dressing like Europeans because they hate themselves. 

    Will you revert to ... Thursday, 22 February 2024 05:22 PM

    "Why do these Europeans need to dominate everywhere?". Answer; if not, the indians or Chinese or someone else will dominate you. (According to the latest news you will have to learn Hindi). If you were brilliant and brave should have invaded some countries and spread your language. Even the once dominant Tamils are loosing their language rapidly. "Our people are speaking English, bleaching their skin, and dressing like Europeans because they hate themselves". Answer: it's not hate but embracing something superior (not referring to bleaching the hair). Will you shun not just English language but everything western - cars, trains, planes, TV, AC, phones, shirts, pants, coats, modern defence machinery etc., - and revert to bullock carts, loincloths, swords and spears?

    Stop yearning Thursday, 22 February 2024 05:30 PM

    Do you mean to say Sri Lankans should stop yearning to migrate to the West?

    Tamil Historian Wednesday, 21 February 2024 11:06 PM

    Historically when the French invaded England ( British Historians and hence the British text books have called it the Norman Invasion, to successfully fool everyone that France never invaded England ), the official language in England became French and people felt inferior speaking in English in England . Now in our history, we were invaded by England so we feel inferior speaking in our own language compared to speaking in English.

    sss Thursday, 22 February 2024 12:14 AM

    The most popular language - English, a written word or name can have ten different pronunciations, leading to the frequent question - how is it pronounced?. This negates the most important function /expectation of a language

    Suresh Weragoda Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:23 AM

    "The importance of preserving mother languages was (not were) stressed today."

    sss Thursday, 22 February 2024 04:50 AM

    Most popular language - English is wasting brain real estate by requiring to memorize spelling. Some words have no relation between their spelling and how they are pronounced

    DOT Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:58 AM

    If you ddon't use it; you loose it!

    Do not be fooled by politicians any more! Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:23 AM

    We see the blunder of SWRD in 1950s, for his selfish motive? I met a young man in the middle east who worked as a pot washer. Reason? He could not communicate in English but he was B.A. graduate from Lanka! World has become a global village and nobody can live in isolation.

    Sokrates Thursday, 22 February 2024 08:44 AM

    If Sri Lanka had kept English as its official language after independence, as many multilingual colonies had done, there would never have been a civil war, the education system would be better, it would be beneficial for trade and tourism. Sri Lankans could make themselves better understood abroad. Idiotic national pride had triumphed over practical considerations. In any case, the national languages have not led to harmony in Sri Lanka, as Sabry claimed.

    Mass A. Usuf Thursday, 22 February 2024 09:12 AM

    A pathetic situation I experienced during my stay in ME. Two Sri Lankans came to my apartment to repair the Air conditioner. To my surprise both were speaking in Arabic, while inquiring, why not you speak in Sinhese, Tamil or in English. The answer was. Pathirana couldn't speakTamil and Siva couldn't speak Sinhalese, unfortunately both were not proficient in English. Imagine The Language Barrier.

    Survival Thursday, 22 February 2024 05:25 PM

    Yet, they managed to learn Arabic. They are reluctant to learn one another's language or the link language but learnt an alien language for survival.

    Grace Thursday, 22 February 2024 03:34 PM

    Those who say English education is not important and the vernacular languages education should be given priority, should understand that many who seek jobs in foreign countries get rejected. Advise the Hitler's ghost and certain MPs not to wear suits to the parliament and speak in Tamil/Sinhala.

    Banda Iya Thursday, 22 February 2024 03:41 PM

    Even SWRD Bandaranaike was not fluent in Sinhala and he use to speak in English with his family members.

    melville perera Friday, 23 February 2024 03:14 PM

    the loin cloth better known as amude was a convenient easy to wear piece of cloth of the early poor male rural folk of our country to get about their daily chores sans the conveniences we see and have currently and most amusing if not entertaining to see the many visiting female tourists showing off this almost identical male"outfit" at every nook and corner of our beautiful sunny beaches and sometimes elsewhere as the latest fashionable barely there swimwear from out of this world which in fact is a slightly modified true copy of our early rural folk male loin cloth


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