Threats to the growth of Igala language
abdul at December 28th, 2012
The number one threat to Igala Language is the lack of understanding by the speakers that there is a threat to the language. In the course of our research work for Igalapedia Project, many questions were asked by respondents that manifested the militating organs that will keep Igala Language behind other Languages if nothing is done.
Some of those discouraging Questions are :
Do you think there is need to actually commit resources into this your Igalapedia project ?,
How many people have access to computer at home that Igalapedia is worrying themselves and wasting money for conducting research into developing the Igala Local contents using digital approach.
After all efforts and commitment of resources, Who will pay for the efforts?
No Igala man is ready to buy a software to learn Igala Language because all of us are authority in the speaking of the Language as the same time we are not transferring the language to our sibling.
These few questions and many more put together tell that we are far from starting to secure the Language for our children yet unborn. From our Immediate environment, If Yoruba, Hausa and Iboe dwell on this kind of question before, today we would not have been able to convert a passage of a write up to the three Languages at a click of mouse making use of google services and others. Above all, If English man thought in the way if these this questions and many more centuries ago, we would not have lived to know the tribe called English language to talk of adopting it as a lingua franca. On hearing that we are developing a program that will convert numbers to Igala Language, Some people take it very interesting while some people amazingly make zest of the author that he is waiting his precious time, that after all, who is coming back to start reading numbers in Igala Language in the today world. Let alone the programs are being developed for documentation of Igala numbering system, future generation of Igala language will live to know that their grand parents also have a way of calling numbers before arrival of western civilisation.
UNESCO (2003) has rightly noted that, “each and every language embodies the unique cultural wisdom of a people. The loss of any language is thus a loss for all humanity. The death of any language results in the irrecoverable loss of unique cultural, historical and ecological knowledge. In other words, the knowledge of any single language may be the key to answering fundamental questions of the future.
Igalapedia sees Igala language as been endangered because it is on a path toward extinction. A language is in danger when its speakers give no relevance to development of the using of the language for writing as part of their life, majority of Igala people most especially those living outside home failed increasingly to do one of the homework assigned to us by the mother nature, that is not teaching our sibling the speaking of Igala Language. this amount to the reduction in number of communicative domains of Igala Language, The effect of which is the ceasure to pass the language on from one generation to the next. That is, there are no new speakers, adults or children”.
Bernard (1996) reports that, “about 97% of the world’s people speak about 4% of the world’s languages; and conversely, about 96% of the world’s languages are spoken by about 3% of the world’s people. In other words, most of the world’s language heterogeneity, then, is under the stewardship of a very small number of people.”
A situation such as this, could be described as “language imperialism.
UNESCO’s (2003) Ad Hoc Expert Group on Endangered Languages says: “Even languages with many thousands of speakers are no longer being acquired by children; at least 50% of the world’s more than six thousand languages are losing speakers. We estimate that, in most world regions, about 90% of the languages may be replaced by dominant languages by the end of the 21st century”.
Igala will be among them if nothing is done to secure the Igala Language for the future, we will be carried along in this river of language endangerment.