“Most people are not at all interested in the death of languages,” says Claude Hagege, prominent French linguist. “If we are not cautious about the way English is progressing it may eventually kill most other languages.”
This statement appears in a BBC article titled The death of language? This article addresses an issue that has become close to my heart as I have grown to understand that it’s more than just about communication of information. This is an issue about culture. About the loss of the beauty and wonder of variety lost as globalization happens unless there is some intentionality in preservation of those unique qualities.
Why does that matter? It matters because humanity is created in the image of God. Every individual reflects God’s image. Every culture does too. (Every individual and every culture also reflect the image of a humanity that is marked by rebellion against the Creator God as well.) When we lose a culture and language, we lose one unique and beautiful glimpse of a multi-facited, perfectly unified, delightfully complex God.
Wycliffe’s work with it’s partners around the world to translate God’s Word into minority languages, thereby making it accessible to all peoples of the earth in a language and form they can understand best is a work that also helps preserve language and culture.
This video helps illustrate that very thing: