Language policy

From Academic Kids

Many countries have a language policy designed to favour or discourage the use of a particular language or set of languages. Although nations historically have used language policies most often to promote one official language at the expense of others, many countries now have policies designed to protect and promote regional and ethnic languages whose viability is threatened.

Contents

Overview

The preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity in today's world is a major concern to many scientists, artists, writers, politicians, and leaders of linguistic communities. Up to one half of the 6000 languages currently spoken in the world are estimated to be in danger of disappearing during the 21st century. Many factors affect the existence and usage of any given human language, including the size of the native speaking population, its use in formal communication, and the geographical dispersion and the socio-economic weight of its speakers. National language policies can either mitigate or exacerbate the effects of some of these factors.

What follows below is one of many ways in which language policy laws can be categorized.

Assimilation policies

A policy of assimilation is one that uses measures to accelerate the downsizing of one or more linguistic minority group(s). The ultimate goal of such policies is to foster national unity inside a state.

Jurisdictions having such a policy:

Afghanistan - Brazil - Burma - Cyprus - Croatia - East Timor - Greece - Indonesia - Iran - Iraq - Kosovo (Not a state; under United Nations protectorate and officially under sovereignty of Serbia) - Pakistan - Syria - Thailand - Turkey - Vietnam

Non-intervention policies

A policy of non-intervention consists in choosing to let the normal rapport between the main linguistic group and the minorities evolve on its own. This almost invariably favours the dominant group. Sometimes, such policies are accompanied by administrative measures protecting certain minorities.

Jurisdictions having such a policy:

Angola - Argentina - Australia - Austria - Bangladesh - Benin - Burkina Faso - Chile - Congo-Kinshasa - Côte d'Ivoire - Cuba - Czech Republic - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - Gabon - Ghana - Germany - Gibraltar - Guinea - Guyana - Northern Ireland - Jamaica - Japan - Liechtenstein - Mali - Nebraska - Nicaragua - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - El Salvador - San Marino - Saudi Arabia - Senegal - United Kingdom - Uruguay - Venezuela - Vermont

Differentiated legal statute policies

A policy that recognizes a different legal statute for a given language usually aims at allowing the coexistence of multiple linguistic groups inside a state. Typically, the majority has all its linguistic rights secured and sometimes promoted while the minority or minorities are given special protection for their language.

Jurisdictions having such a policy:

Albania - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bulgaria - California - China - Croatia - Estonia - European Council -Macedonia - Guatemala - Latvia - Lithuania - Manitoba - Ontario - Netherlands - New Mexico - Paraguay - Quebec - Romania - Slovakia - Sweden - Wales - Yukon

Valorization of the official language policies

A policy favouring the official language is a policy of unilingualism. Sometimes, it favours the national language, sometime it favours a colonial language with a strong influence internationally. In some cases, such policies are accompanied by measures recognizing and protecting minority languages.

Jurisdictions having such a policy:

Åland - Albania - Algeria - Andorra - Azerbaijan - California - Cambodia - Colombia - Cyprus - Croatia - Egypt - Estonia - France -Greece - India - Iran - Iceland - Italy - Japan - Kuwait - Latvia - Lebanon - Lithuania - Macedonia - Madagascar - Morocco - Mexico - Moldova - Montenegro - North Korea - Nepal - Peru - Romania - Saint-Pierre and Miquelon - Serbia - Slovakia - Somalia - South Korea - Spain - Tunisia - Uzbekistan - Vietnam - Voivodina

Sectorial Policies

Bilingualism or trilingualism policies

A policy favouring the two official languages is a policy of bilingualism. There are many different ways in which these policies can be applied.

Based on non-territorialized individual rights

A policy of bilingualism based on non-territorialized individual rights recognizes the same rights to all members of a community whatever their location on the national territory.

Belarus - Burundi - Canada - Central African Republic - Chad - Djibouti - Guam - Hong Kong - Ireland - Kenya - Kiribati - Malta - Nauru - New Zealand - Northwest Territories - Norway - Nunavut - Rwanda - Samoa - South Africa - Tanzania - Tonga - Tuvalu

Based on territorialized individual rights

A language policy based on territorialized individual rights recognizes the same rights to all members of a community within a specific region.

Balearic Islands - Basque Country - Bolzano - Brandenburg - Brittany - Catalonia - Channel Islands - Faroe - Finland - Galicia - Hawaii - Isle of Man - Micronesia - Navarre - Northern Ireland - Nicaragua - Scotland - Sind - Valencia - Valle d'Aosta - Wales

Based on territorial rights

Belgium - Cameroon - Fribourg - Grisons - Switzerland - Tessin - Valais

Strategic multilingualism policies

Linguistic internationalization policies

Mixed linguistic policies

Language boards

See also

Source

br:Politikerezh yezh de:Sprachpolitik fr:Politique linguistique fi:Kielipolitiikka

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