Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
A disembodied photo of my head. (Normally, I try to keep my head on my shoulders!)
Hello - thank you for
taking the time to visit
my Blog. Please feel free
to add your comment to
any entry via the 'post
your comment' link......
Come back soon.

*SPAM Comments*
N.B. These will be deleted!

I'm Fund-Raising
with Oxfam UK

Help me to buy a Camel
for a Community in Need
links to a secure site for donations
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
        Access Archives
« December 2004 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
via the Calendar or view...
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Blog Moved
Family Days Out
Festive Season
Films and TV
Health Issues
In the News
Music and Art
My Web Pages
Nature and Our World
Poetry and Poets
Recipes and Food
Special Days
Web Design
Print A Recipe
Brandy Pudding
New England Plum Pudding

On My Website:
Marthe Janssen-Leyder
About Me
The Airman's Story

• Excelent Read •
World War II History
Forced to parachute to safety, Douglas Jennings was helped by the Belgian Secret Army
by Douglas Jennings the RAF Air Bomber featured on my website
Book Details AND
How to Order

My Blog List
An Englishman's Castle
A Product of the 80's
Baghdad Burning
Blognor Regis Cancergiggles
Daily Iraqi Cheese Grader
Jamie's Big Voice
Jonzo's Rantings
The Loom
My Big Trip Blog
Moniales OP
Random Acts of Reality
Re. Tired (Joanna's Blog)
Stephen Pollard
Stu Savory's Blog
The Gray Monk
The Pope Blog

Useful Websites
Dan's Web Tips
HTML Goodies
Lynx Viewer
Rogue Anti-Spyware
Shields Up
Webmonkey Tools

About Chichester
(My Home Town)

Roman Chichester
A Brief History
Chichester Cathedral
Weather Forecast

the old Market Cross in Chichester, West Sussex
Near Chichester
Bosham Village
Boxgrove Priory
Roman Palace
Open Air Museum

Recent Posts:
September 2005


Battle of Britain

Fertility Treatment

The Plumber's Tale of Woe

Learning to Read and Write

Bureaucracy Gone Mad

What is Really Happening in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come!!!

August 2005

More Surgery!"

How I Met Michael Rennie (1909-1971)

"The Sixth Lamentation" - An Excellent Book

French Onions

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

I'm Recovering Well

Well, I'm Glad That's Over!

Just Me Prattling

The Russian Mini-Submarine

Amazing Animals: The Sturgeon

The Tower Subway

Surgical Pre-Assessment

July 2005

The Coal Delivery

Spyware and Anti-spyware"

Getting Enough Sleep?

An Insidious Cancer

Americans First on the Moon

"The Lion King"

Update on my Biopsy

Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?


Animal Intelligence

Fl./Lt. Dennis G. Hornsey, D.F.C.

The English Language

London Bombs

Marriage Advice?

My Biopsy

A Message for the World's Leaders

June 2005


A 'Perfect' Day

Amazing Animals: The Emperor Penguin

Crowned on this Day in 1509

A Sweet for a Special Occasion

King Solomon's Mines

Father's Day

Tiger, Tiger....


Cockroaches and Human Fertility

World's Best Character Actor

Computer Decisions

Food for Thought


World Ocean Day

Daft as a Brush (or Two)

Douglas Jennings, RAF Evader During WW II

Lord of the Rings

Driving Me Mad

You are not logged in. Log in

Map of the United Kingdom
This confuses the Spam harvesters

Unique Hits
hit counters
Free Counter added
5th December 2004

Sponsor Link
Baby Stores

Free JavaScripts on this page from

Friday, 3 December 2004
The Language of the Future
Topic: Miscellanea
Do you know how many languages are spoken on Earth?   No, neither did I until I found out yesterday that it is around 6,800. Sadly, a great number of these languages are dying out and some will be forgotten completely in twenty more years. Apparantly, linguists believe that as many as 90% could be gone by the year 2100. I wonder how many more languages there were in the past? How many in the whole of human history? Millions possibly. I suppose that, as early peoples gradually spread around the globe, the common 'Mother Tongue' diversified. Dialects appeared. People did not always live very long so isolated family groups of hunter/gatherers may have been very young and the young invent new words. In New Guinea, for instance, each tribe in each valley has its own separate language.

It is interesting that the rules for language and grammar appear to be fixed deep within our brains and that they follow the same set of rules for all of humanity. I remember seeing a programme on television some years ago about Nicaraguan children in a home for the deaf. They were fed and looked after but not taught language. Perhaps you remember seeing it? Well, like children everywhere, they wanted to communicate their feelings and they began to use a crude form of sign language. It was very basic to start with but as younger children learnt from the older children, they started to use more elaborate signs and, as more youngsters learnt, they eventually created a really sophisticated sign language with its own grammar. The process evolved over some thirty years and this facility for true language only developed in the very young children - the older children never progressed beyond their basic signing. The same happens to hearing children who are deprived of real human contact when they are young - they can never learn to speak fluently - and so-called 'wild or feral children' manage no more than a one or two words or sounds. It seems that the speech pathways in the brain have to form very early or it is too late. It is very important, therefore, to talk to our babies from the moment of their birth.

So what is happening to the world's languages? To our shame, some indigenous languages were repressed. Australian Aboriginal and Native American children were sent to schools in the 19th century and forbidden to speak their native tongues. Empire builders colonised the Americas, then Africa and India and forced the diverse people there to speak English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch or whatever. Other languages have died or are about to die with the last member of their tribal group.

In the Western World in the early 20th century, the crystal set radio was invented. The BBC was born in 1920 and early broadcasters in the United Kingdom spoke the 'King's English', with the perfect enunciation of the upper-class, lah-di-dah, we used to call it! (Did you know that in the early days of radio, the BBC News Reader's had to wear Evening Dress to read the News Bulletin!). Nowadays television reaches even more people and, although the variation of language and pronunciation that you hear is wide-ranging, the result is that many English dialects, such as the old Sussex dialect, have completely died out. The same has probably happened in other countries, too. Then, as technology advances and new inventions appear, new words are invented. How many languages use the word 'Computer' for instance?

What will be the prevalent language in 2100, I wonder? I suspect most people will speak English as a second language. But it could just as easily be Chinese or even Klingon! Now that's a thought.

Qapla'!   Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!

P.S. Did you know that you can GOOGLE in Klingon?

Posted by Noviomagus at 17:41 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

View Latest Entries