Mysuru: The country has nearly 7,000 languages and half of it is in the endangered list. It cannot be preserved by just holding seminars and conferences. Instead serious efforts should be politically, socially and economically maid to ensure that communities involved in speaking these endangered and lesser known languages are encouraged to speak, said Prof. Peter Austin, SOAS University of London.
He was speaking at the sixth International three-day Conference on Endangered and Lesser Known Languages organised by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) on the occasion of International Mother Language Day at the Conference Hall, here this morning.
Lot of importance has been given to English and Hindi in this country and as a result the regional languages are taking a back seat. Hence, everyone should be encouraged to learn and speak in their mother tongues. “Only when regional languages are promoted can the language grow and since they are also the mother tongues of the region, it will help in the growth of the language,” he said.
Prof. Anvita Abbi, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi said that in a neighbouring country like Bangladesh, regional languages are given a lot of importance and hence there is something to learn from them.
“If you do not respect your mother tongue, then you cannot protect it and it will soon become an endangered language. Hence, the medium of instruction in schools and colleges must be in mother tongue and only then quality education is possible,” she said.
Prof.D.G. Rao, Director, CIIL, in his presidential said that the Institute has documents of more than 60 languages preserved. It is also conducting lots of training programmes in this regard.