As the world population continues to grow exponentially, epidemics of different diseases also increase due to factors such as the high population density in cities, which facilitates the spread of viruses and bacteria between individuals, the increased resistance of germs to different medicines, the lack of access to drinking water, deforestation, which brings with it the liberation of new evils, the excessive overcrowding of livestock in feed lots and in breeding places for farm animals, etc.
The World Health Organization is constantly monitoring various areas to prevent new outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, smallpox, swine flu and dengue, among many others. In short, it is becoming easier to get infected, and we must be alert so that our precious health is kept safe.
But the impact of the human race on the planet is not limited to public health; it also affects the thousands of languages spoken worldwide. I would suggest that languages can also become contaminated, get sick, and even die.
Among the threats to the “health” of languages we can distinguish these main factors:
As a trade expands globally, so does language. Trade has always seen pidgins and trade jargon arise where two cultures meet. These are languages with extremely simplified structures that convey little meaning beyond what is essential to simple business transactions.
The new digital world wipes out the spelling and grammar of any language, the simple need to write quickly either by email, chat, SMS or WhatsApp leads to the habit of writing using only abbreviations, emoticons, images, etc. It may even come to the point where new generations no longer remember how words are written well and replace them with their short forms and other variations, thus causing a linguistic change that may be impossible to revert.
The sunset of reading:
As much as it is true that there are still many people who have the habit of reading to pass the time, it feels the public is more drawn to movies, computers or Smartphones to entertain themselves instead of sitting down to read a book. A fall in readership can spell dire consequences for maintaining a vast vocabulary and sophisticated grammar. And it is easy to notice the growing epidemic of misspellings and misused terms resulting from this deficit of books in people’s lives.
The rise of cities:
There were the good old days in which small communities could live autonomously in different remote places surrounded by nature, where their customs, traditions and of course their native languages were safe and transmitted from generation to generation. But the unstoppable progress of urbanization and the destruction of ecosystems do nothing but force many communities to integrate into large cities where there are more job opportunities and access to basic needs. Many peoples are forced to adapt to changes, and hundreds of languages die annually.
At Trusted Translations we strive to use human evolution in favor of the “health” of languages through a vast network of highly trained linguists, using the latest technologies and procedures to ensure maximum quality in our localization work and extend the life of the languages of the world.