English, or "world Englishes" as it it sometimes known because there are so many different varieties spoken throughout the world, is now the second most widely used language in the world (mandarin is the first). so as the world aspires to speak English, does that mean other languages are not as important?
i think Britain must be one of the only places in the world where the majority of children can't speak more than one language, and as it is no longer compulsory to take a language to GCSE level, the situation can only get worse.
but what if you've grown up bilingual and have always spoken another language alongside English, whether that is urdu, punjabi, bangla, arabic or any other language? is it important to you? would you want to pass it down to your children or do you think it's insignificant, as English is your language now, or you would prefer to teach them arabic, the language of the Qur'an, and think another language on top of that would just get in the way?
because that's what i'm seeing with the third generation of children now. whether it's unintentional or done on purpose, they are finding it impossible to communicate with their grandparents.
and i think it's rather sad.
i think it's important to try and preserve a language, not necessarily for religious reasons, or because it's an important language, but because it's part of your heritage and part of who you are. there are many theories around that language is part of your culture and identity (here's one)and i think that makes sense because the language you use shapes how you "think" and how you see the world.
ok, some people might be thinking "um but you don't speak a word of urdu" which is true (i've got a few phrases i use though but only ever write them down and never say them!), and my mirpuri.. well let's just say my parents understand me, but have to "translate" to make it comprehensible to anyone else!
but i'm trying though, and i will make the effort when speaking to elders, even if it makes me feel uncomfortable.
so, what do you think? should we let these home languages die with us and focus solely on english and arabic, or is it important to pass them on?