top-rated free essay

summary and reaction

By superplasticity Oct 23, 2013 1304 Words
Bashar H. Attiya
Mrs. Newbegin
StepUp-Reading
10-21-2013
VANISHING VOICES
BY
RUSS RYMER
Citation
Rymer R. (2012). Vanishing Voices. National Geographic, July 2012.

Summary
The writer started his article by describing a group of people called Tuvans, who lives in a remote area in the Republic of Tuva, in Russian Federation. The importance of this group came from the fact that they are speaking Tuvan, a language consider by linguists to be among a group of languages that are considered to be on the edge of extinction because of the low numbers of people that speak it. The earth population speak approximately 7000 languages. Tuvan is among the 3500 small languages that are spoken only by 8.25 million people in the entire world, which is a very low fraction of the seven billion people who inhabit the earth. On the other hand, seventy eight percent of the earth population are speaking only 85 languages, Mandarin, Spanish, and English are among the top spoken languages on the globe. Linguist predicted that in the next century almost half of the spoken languages may vanish, and at this point more than 1000 languages are considered on the extinction. The writer mentioned the reasons that lead to this languages dilemma. He mentioned the effect of the dominant languages, that controls communications and commerce, on the small one that do not have any defense mechanism, like television or currency, to protect its existence. Because of that the people of Tuva must speak Russian or Chinese if they want to stay in contact with the outside world. The writer then mentioned another endangered languages known as AKA, the native language of AKA people in Plaizi a small village in India. The writer describe its people as a very self-dependent people that produce everything they need in their daily life. The AKA language was protected from outside influence because of the location of the village that makes it very difficult for outsiders to reach it. The authors then described two trends in the field of linguistics. The first one is based on the theory of Noam Chomsky who mentioned that all languages came from one single origin which is fixed in the human genes. The second trend is the increase interest in small endangered languages around the world, and how the field linguists are interested in idiosyncrasies that distinguish each language from the others and the cultural effects on it. There are 85 percent of the needs to be documented in order to understand it, and the main reason for this documentation comes from the fact that each language contains unique human experiences that reveals many aspects of life . The writer declared very important point regarding the loss of any language. His main idea was based on the fact that every language contains a valuable information about the culture and the knowledge that accumulated from generation to generation in this culture. The author gave us another example of vanishing languages which is the Cmiique Itiom, a language used by the Seri in Mexico and how their language contains the knowledge that is important for all humans. Cmiique Itiom managed to preserved its original form without any outside interference . The Seri managed to keep their language untouched mainly because their hostility to the outsiders. Even the modern commodities likes cars the Seri managed to bring it to their culture but they used for it a unique names that merged from their own language so they never used there Spanish names. The writer mentioned a way to preserved the vanishing languages which is to: “… enshrine it in writing and compile a dictionary.”. He gave an examples for linguists that worked in those kind of projects like David Harrison and Greg Anderson who compiled the first Tuvan- English dictionary. Also, Steve and Cathay Marlett who worked to finish Cmiique Itiom dictionary, but the writer mentioned very important point which is stated in page 86 : “But saving a language is not something linguists can accomplish, because salvation must come from within.”. The salvation must come from the people who are using this language by teaching it to the next generation, and also by using dictionaries and books to preserve it and keeping it active as long there is something to speak about it. Writer Choices

The writer starts his article by using a story as a hook for the readers, to grab their attention for the rest of the article, and he kept telling the readers different stories about the people he met during his travel. The writer also used creative language ,like figurative language which includes metaphor in many places in the article, and he also used compare and contrast in many other places . Numbers was used by the writers to support his main idea, he mentioned a specific numbers related to the languages in the first page. Visuals aid had been used by the writer to illustrate the subject of his article in a very professional way, yet it was very simple and effective, we can see that from the beautiful pictures for all the people that he met during his trip. Reflection on the Reading Process

I found the article hard to read at the beginning, but after using SQ4R and reading the article in class for many times it became much easier for me to understand, and this make the whole process of reading very interesting. The language used not always clear, with difficult word as shown below: Nomadic: roaming about from place to place aimlessly, frequently, or without a fixed pattern of movement. Proselytize: to try to persuade people to join a religion, cause, or group. Dwindle: to gradually become smaller.

Thatch: to make (a roof) with dried plant material (called thatch). Supplant: to supersede (another) especially by force or treachery. Atelier: a room where an artist works.
Propitious: likely to have or produce good results.
Reading process included: Skimming and Skamming ,summarize the article and annotate the key points in it, and SQ4R.

Reaction
Languages is the soul of human civilizations. The connection between the two of them is very similar to the relationship between human soul and body because without the sole the body will surely collapse because humans need their soul to drive the physical body and to keep him from perishing. In contrast, language plays the same role in people collective awareness about their on existence in the society and culture. Language is the invisible glue that hold the culture pieces together, and without this glue everything will collapse. It’s the strong foundation that up hold the society structures and grant it the strength to resist any outside threats. Why the language is so important? Because it’s the memory of the society. This memory is the experiences and knowledge that transferred from generation to generation until it reached this point in time, and no it will very hard to live without our memories. Losing any language would be similar to someone who lost his own memory. The only thing he can do is to embrace a new experiences and knowledge, and to start accumulating new memories about his new life. Unfortunately, it is the same thing for languages, when the people abandon their own language in favor for new ones they will lose their cultural experiences and knowledge. They will eventually lose their own identity that distinguished them from the rest of humans. Finally, losing any language on earth would be a lost for humanity in general because we will lose our diversity that make life on earth interesting .I think life with one color would be very tedious, and for life to be interesting it should contain whole spectrum of color.

Spinoff Topics
One of the spinoff topics would be a to study the individuals that abandon their own language and how they adopt with their new languages and cultures.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Summary and Reaction

    ...Gunnar Lentz SOC 3160_1002 Dr. Gary Oates January 13, 2013 Differential Issues Summary & Reaction In “Race and Sex as Biological Categories,” Ruth Hubbard discusses how biological differences shape our society’s views of women and minority groups. Hubbard first talks about the exploitation of minority groups in order to fuel the ind...

    Read More
  • Rizal Book Summary and Reactions

    ... CHAPTER 13 RIZAL IN JAPAN Rizal left Hong Kong on board of the Oceanic, an American steamer on his way to Japan which was “The Land of Cherry Blossoms”. He arrived in Yokohama and stayed for one day in Grand Hotel. Then he went to Tokyo and stayed at the Tokyo Hotel. He stayed with Juan Perez Caballero after his invitation whi...

    Read More
  • Summary and Reaction of A Worn Path

    ... Response Paper: Summary and Reaction In “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, an elderly woman faces racism, poverty, and demonstrates an amazing example of perseverance as she takes a long, strenuous journey to help her beloved grandson. Near the end of the Civil War, Phoenix Jackson, an old negro woman, follows a shabby pathway into town to re...

    Read More
  • Summary of Organic Reactions

    ...SUMMARY OF ORGANIC REACTIONS SECTION 1 - ALIPHATIC Aldehydes and ketones |Type of reaction |Mechanism | |1. oxidation (aldehydes only): aldehyde ( carboxylic acid |n/a ...

    Read More
  • Rh Bill Summary and Reaction

    ...Reproductive Health Bill (Summarize & Reaction) Requirementsin Environmental Issues NSCI 240 Submitted By: Gimelyn B. Tanquerido BSBA-1/R01 Submitted To: Dr. Leah Fernandez Reproductive Health Bill SEC. 1. Title * The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 is the title and year prop...

    Read More
  • Newspaper Article Summary/Reaction

    ...Cohen, Deborah L. “Working the family social net” The Baltimore Sun 10 February 2013. Summary This article is about how teenagers are using their parent’s facebook accounts to help with finding themselves jobs. Their parents are posting statuses about their son or daughter looking for work either at a professional level helping wi...

    Read More
  • Summary & Reaction

    ... September 18, 2013 Summary In “The story of an Hour,” Mrs. Mallard has a heart condition so, when news about her husband’s death is received. Mrs. Mallard’s sister, Josephine, sits down with her to relay the message as easy as possible without getting he worked up. Mrs. Mallard’s husband’s friends Richards originally found out b...

    Read More
  • Summary

    ...Summary: Act I, scene i Antonio, a Venetian merchant, complains to his friends, Salarino and Solanio, that a sadness has overtaken him and dulled his faculties, although he is at a loss to explain why. Salarino and Solanio suggest that his sadness must be due to his commercial investments, for Antonio has dispatched several trade ships to var...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.