It is a common knowledge that many languages of the world are now facing existential threat. And the reason for the same is also well known. Actually the young speakers of many languages are now more into speaking English and/or other major languages, for both professional as well as social reasons. And this is naturally resulting in a reduction in the use of their mother languages, eventually resulting in a threat for their existence.
A host of international and national organizations and initiatives have been set up, which are trying their level best to ensure the survival of the “threatened” languages. Many non-profit organizations, groups and associations are also working hard on this issue. Opinion makers like educationists, litterateurs, etc. are also often found to deliver speeches aimed at motivating youths to speak their mother languages.
However, I have a simple formula. I do not know how much effective it will be. Nevertheless I will love to put it forward for the feedback and views of other people.
I suppose (and I know most of you will agree) that the best way to motivate a person to speak his native tongue is to make him feel proud of the same. However, a person might not be that motivated if his language is praised by another person from the same community, as the former might feel that the other guy is praising the language as it is his language as well.
But the picture might be very different if I find that a speaker of a different language is praising my language, and is also showing eagerness to know about the same. For example, I was always proud of my mother language Bengali. But my pride got a huge boost when, after settling down in Delhi, I came across a number of north Indians who kept praising the richness and sweetness of my language.
So my simple formula to make people proud of their mother tongues is – let’s start learning at least a little about other peoples’ languages (of course as many as we can), and then discuss a few words on his language when we meet a speaker of a language which is not exactly a major language. This might make him feel proud of his language, eventually enthusing him to take more interest in the same.
I know that even if the scheme gathers any success, it will remain a very insignificant effort. But even an insignificant effort is an effort all the same. Right?