Out of many factors that maintain wellbeing of a country is the wellbeing of a society’s mind state. For a society to remain intact, looking into influential factors remains to be a key factor. Among which of is language.
“Language” may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules.
Language is a pattern of communication which has a fluid behavior that its content can gradually be enriched and diversified or extinct as well. This phenomenon is highly dependent on the custom, culture and extent of external influence of a particular society. Hereby becomes clear why 389 languages (nearly 6%) have more than a million speakers. These languages together account for 94% of the world’s population, whereas 94% of the world’s languages account for the remaining 6% of the global population.
As people live in a very complex network of social interactions, influencing one another becomes fundamental in the context of survival and dominance. And the critical role of language in any of its form and pattern; thereby; makes it one of the main ways of influencing.
With our understanding of the role of communication and language, it becomes easier to understand the role of ‘English’ in the trend of the new world order and policies of global dominance. One of the main strategies of the west in the global dominance is disrupting well-built, society oriented customs and social standpoints through main stream media, giant social media platforms and any other form of influence like music industries, movies and others. And it remains undeniable that this hub of influences has had enormous impact in all targeted societies. These strategies clearly showed that people can also be influenced through their subconscious mind state; not necessarily through a direct input but also through an indirect approach which includes using any recreational platforms.
So coming to our unbiased Eritrean society; we noticeably see the threat of influence and its impact not far from the horizon; hence, the need to our awareness for all consequences of foreign languages dominating our ways of living, speaking, recreating and communicating becomes vital. Speaking about foreign languages does not implicate undermining the values and culture of any society; rather it means emphasizing on securing social, political and cultural security while maintaining friendship and solidarity.
What we commonly see in the young Eritrean generation is the adaption of foreign customs and marginalization of true innate values for no any plausible reason but as consequence of globalization and its effects. For example, one commonly seen practice is the use of Amharic language in many of our public places and services. We normally see Amharic music, movies, or any of Amharic channel programs in bars, clubs, stores, public transport and even social events. Even though it’s clear, understanding different languages widens our aptitude, there is no doubt that when it’s unregulated and open on sites of influence; it definitely negatively affects the diversity of our native languages and affects our social and political attitude as well.
In the long run, this pattern becomes a weakness of the society and an opportunity for widening a gateway for a sphere of influence and intrusions; ultimately becoming one of the main factors that has a potential for dismantling social cohesions. Therefore, it becomes critical for the young generation to prioritize national, social and cultural security. In light of this, the key responsibility lies with our society, government and respective authorities to work and improvise on enrichment and diversification of our native languages, the prevention of adapting a sphere of influence through foreign languages and the regulation of public places, services and events from being centers of negative influences.
written by – Faris Yosief