I happened to stumble across a program on ABC last night with the inimitable Stephen Fry.
That fascinating man was looking at languages, most particularly the 6000 plus languages in the world that are ‘threatened with linguicide’. I never even knew there was a word such as ‘linguicide’, but what a fascinating word that is. And how sad to think that some people’s identity and culture are being lost to homogenisation.
An incredibly interesting series.I’ll be tuning in again. Especially as it made me think about what I love to do in a different light.
I love language and people and cultures and differences – it’s one of the reasons I write and explore these subjects in my novels. Creating new worlds, or just re-workings of our world by tapping into history and a mixture of mythologies and mythological creatures (witches, warlocks, magic, mother nature, vampires, gods and goddesses, muses, elves, dragons and so on) is my little way of carrying forward thoughts and ideas as old as time. But this series by Stephen Fry has made me think even more deeply about how language roots us in all these things. Now my brain is flying with ideas. It’s all very exciting for me (and hopefully for my readers in the future).
Even if you are not a writer or don’t think about language and its effect on our individual and social psyche, I still suggest you watch this show – it was incredibly fascinating.
You wont’ be sorry if you do.