Showing posts from November, 2005

Nationalism and languages

I think people need to be more open to let their languages simplify and change. In my experience, the primary reason why these days many unnecessary complexities endure is destructive: nationalistic pride, arising out of a fear that the nation will otherwise be trampled. Fear of change, fear of foreigners. In order to protect this sense of false security, people go to great lengths to maintain traditions which would have long become a useless burden otherwise. Examples are plenty: the French language board, a Don Quixotic attempt to "protect" against English; Japan and Kanji, taking children a perplexingly long time to learn, which they could spend learning many more things that would be more useful (including, perhaps, a foreign language?). We are all human; only good can come from mixing freely. Maintaining dysfunctional traditions just for the sake of it does not lead anywhere (except perhaps to war). Nationalism is inherently bad. I'm not American, and not from an