"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
The Politics of Language and Nation Building in Zimbabwe
This book examines the exclusion of minority languages (and their speakers)
from the mainstream domains of everyday social life in postcolonial
Zimbabwe. It considers forces of hegemonic nation building, subtle cultural
oppression and a desire for linguistic uniformity as major factors
contributing to the social exclusion of Zimbabweans from language groups
other than Shona and Ndebele. The book interprets the various forms of
language-based exclusion exercised by Shona and Ndebele language speakers
over minority groups as constituting a form of linguistic imperialism.
Contrary to the popular view that English is Zimbabwe's «killer language»,
which should be replaced by selected indigenous languages that are
perceived as more nationally «authentic» and better grounded in both pre-
and post-imperial frameworks, this book argues that linguistic imperialism
has very little to do with whether the dominating language is «foreign» or
«indigenous». The author discusses oral submissions from minority language
speakers, language experts, policy-makers and educators. While the focus is
specifically on the politics of language and identity in Zimbabwe, this
case study gives an insight into the complexity of identity and nation
building in postcolonial Africa.
History of language politics in Zimbabwe - Language politics in colonial
Zimbabwe - Language and politics in the postcolonial context - Language use
in education, media, law and administration - Critique of mainstream
discourses on language and Zimbabwean politics - Language and ethnicity in
PF ZAPU and ZANU PF politics - Language and ethnicity in ZANU PF internal
politics - Language and ethnicity in MDC internal politics - Language
policy as a site of political contests - Everyday forms of language-based
marginalization - Language and nation building or language and empire
building? - National identity and discourses of exclusion - Language
hierarchies and internal colonization - The future of marginalized
identities - Strategies for the maintenance of minority identities - The
Zimbabwe case study in global perspective.