The language is no longer regarded as a common treasure to be hoarded and protected as far as possible. Rather, it is loot from the enemy to be played with, squandered, plastered on for one’s adornment. The apparent deterioration of language is a general phenomenon, which is denounced throughout the country.
The term” language” has always played a vital role in our daily lives as it provides identity. Naturally, the beauty of it that with every country having their own language, it is easy to express when it comes to speaking in our own mother tongue. Call it an influence of other culture or lack of awareness, the recent fashion of molding the original one to a mixture of English and Nepali is slowly showing signs of a fake identity. To some, this might seem to be a subject of irrelevance, but coming to think of it in broader terms, the impact could be disastrous. Today, we talk of cultural preservation, but what culture would we have when one would be using 5 English words just to complete a mere Nepali sentence, consisting of 10 words? In ten years time, who knows, we might even transform the word Nepali to Nenglish.
The question of language maintenance really has very little to do with numbers of speakers but with community attitudes and community initiatives. As for attitude playing a pivotal role in a language’s survival or a pitfall can be seen as in cases where we encounter several such people who think it’s a matter of pride to claim ourselves to be well versed in written and spoken English while having a weaker command over Nepali. Today most of us prefer talking in English to Nepali even while conversing amongst ourselves. There might be a lot of us who wouldn’t think such a practice to be a threat. However, if such trends continue, a day won’t be far off when the issue of language extinction becomes a matter of concern which will be evident with a steady decline in the number of fluent Nepali speakers. Our parents are more prone to talking in pure Nepali than us who are used to mixing Nepali with English; hence our children and grandchildren will be more inclined to talking even less of Nepali or may be none at all. With time, a situation whereby a second language is getting a preference over the first is surely something to be given a thought about.
The language and culture have some kind of relationships seem undeniable. For instance, although culture includes all of the material products of a people- the kinds of things archaeologists dig up or museums like to display- it also, and perhaps more importantly, includes what goes on inside people’s heads, and these things are not material at all but exist solely because we have a concept of some kind and can transmit this concept through the medium of a language.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, let us prevent the day where our future generation would have to read the history on languages, where by Nepali would be claimed as the language spoken “ once upon a time”. After all, learning a language requires many years; to maintain language requires a lifetime!