Language Discrimination Examples In 10 Languages

Language Discrimination
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Why is Being Bilingual Necessary?

Everyone knows their native language very well, and the world is the hub of linguistic diversity. They won’t make any mistakes when speaking in their native language. They will be able to pronounce each word correctly in their primary language. For instance, a citizen of the United States will be able to speak the English language without a hint of a foreign accent. But sometimes, being fluent in your native language is not enough. For instance, if a native citizen of France wishes to work in the United States, they will have to become fluent in English first. But every foreign language is different, and no one should be forced to become bilingual so that non-native speakers can adjust to the world. Learning a second language should be a choice.

Language Discrimination:

There are different kinds of prejudices and discrimination. Sometimes, the labor force gets chosen because of their gender. Some people get rejected because of their marital status. But unless there is a fundamental conflict of interest or an employee’s performance is not up to the mark, their position should stay secure. As long as someone who is a non-native speaker can speak standard English, they should get a job in a call center otherwise, has to face language-based discrimination.

Sadly, learning a second language is not enough sometimes, and people get ridiculed because of their pronunciation or accents. Prejudice against a person or people because of their native language or inability to speak a foreign language fluently is called language discrimination. It affects people in multiple ways. Some companies have a language policy that prevents them from hiring speakers of a foreign language. Children of immigrants are made fun of in primary school because of their accents. People are sometimes discriminated against for both their spoken language and ethnic origin.

Linguistic discrimination means that not everyone will get an equal opportunity for jobs. Common language discrimination examples can be found in the history of the Kurdish language and the Basque Country and the treatment of Tamil speakers in Sri Lanka. In Sweden, immigrants from different parts of the world are currently residing. These immigrants also have to face discrimination because of their ethnic origin and native tongue.

Why Being Bilingual is Necessary

Language Discrimination Examples in 10 Languages:

When human rights are discussed, no one pays much attention to language discrimination. But in truth, it is also a civil rights matter and should get the attention it deserves. The focus on a dominant or official language has affected millions of people worldwide.

Here are examples of linguistic discrimination in ten languages:

1. English:

The English language is known all over the world. It is the language of business and opportunity. People who can’t speak it find it hard to get good jobs in countries like the United States and Canada. But even in today’s world, there are countries where the majority do not like English. China is one example of this, where particular groups don’t like English and make no effort to learn it. Even those not against English still don’t try to understand it as it can bring them no benefit.

2. Indigenous Languages:

When the Europeans colonized different parts of the world, they promoted the use of their language. They discriminated against people who spoke indigenous languages. The French language in Africa and the Spanish language in the Americas took over people’s daily lives. Eventually, every regional language faded into the background.

3. Spanish:

Spanish is the mother tongue of nearly 500 million people. But it is a minority language in the United States where its speakers have to face discrimination from time to time. A typical example is when an employer creates an English-only policy only to keep the employees from communicating with each other in Spanish.

4. French:

French is the official language of the province of Quebec in Canada. It is also spoken in Ontario and New Brunswick. Even the prime minister of Canada tweets in both English and French to promote the use of both vernaculars. But historically, English speakers have been financially strong. As a result, the native speakers of French have been discriminated against frequently.

5. Catalan:

Spoken in parts of France, Spain, Andorra, and Italy, this Romance language has had a problematic history. It has been discriminated against by the speakers of the dominant language everywhere. In France, the French Revolution led to discriminating policies against Catalan. In Spain, even today, Catalan speakers don’t enjoy the same civil rights as the speakers of Spanish.

6. Cantonese:

This vernacular originated in Guangzhou, also known as Canton, in China. Despite being the second most popular vernacular in the country, it is not valued highly by the majority. Speakers of Cantonese face national origin discrimination often in China because of their language and their native region. A speaker of Cantonese will not get an equal employment opportunity as compared to a speaker of Mandarin.

7. Irish:

The long-lasting British colonization of Ireland turned Irish into a minority language. It was the establishment of the Republic of Ireland that saved the language. Today, it enjoys official status in the republic. But in the past, the speakers of Irish were discriminated against by the British.

8. Korean:

From 1910 to 1945, Korea was under the rule of Japan. During this time, Japan made efforts for assimilation, which resulted in banning the use of the Korean language. Even the teaching of the Korean language was prohibited. Had the Japanese rule lasted longer, Korean would have had to suffer more.

9. Spanish Accents:

It is not just the spoken language that people are discriminated against. In the US, if someone speaks American English with an unmistakable Mexican accent, they are perceived as poor, uneducated, and undocumented immigrants. This can result in people not getting proper customer service at restaurants or not getting a positive reply from an employment agency—another example of national origin discrimination.

10. Polish, Ukrainian, and Other Languages of Soviet Satellites:

Under the rule of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union, Russia was given the most importance by the officials. The Russification process tried to assimilate foreign vernaculars and culture with the Russian language and values. This affected the languages of the minority. Even today, Russia has only one official language, but a few other vernaculars are recognized in various regions.

Language Discrimination Examples In 10 Languages

How to Reduce Linguistic Discrimination?

Countries have taken various steps to save people from discrimination due to their native tongue. The European Union has twenty-four official languages to avoid bias. In most countries, there is a federal law against ignoring foreign-born citizens for public sector jobs.

To reduce prejudice, it is better to understand its nature. There are jobs in the school district and in magazines that would require a good command of English. If a person’s written language is checked before getting hired for such a position, that’s not considered discrimination. But for other positions, only the job performance should affect their fate.

By promoting one vernacular and ignoring the other, language development will also stop. It is up to the federal government of every country to work towards reducing discrimination. They can do that by publishing every press release in multiple vernaculars, making sure health insurance is offered in different languages, and forcing every financial institution to issue credit cards in various tongues.

The rulemaking process should also be telecasted in multiple languages so people can learn about their government. Information technology should also be made available in the languages of the minority. With strategic planning, the prejudice against those who speak a minority language can be reduced.

When Patients and Providers Speak Different Languages:

There are some fields where the employees should know a second language or be fluent in their mother tongue. But what happens when there is a language barrier between a health care provider and a patient? The solution is simple, and that is to hire qualified linguistic experts.

Although hospitals in regions where a minority language is popular can hire bilingual staff, it is not always necessary. If medical equipment can come with labels and manuals written in multiple vernacular, then there is no reason a hospital cannot hire expert translators. Qualified professionals can translate everything from birth certificates to court orders or insurance policies.

Social change can be good at times, but forcing people to learn a second language is not a path we should be choosing. Every country has made mistakes in the past. France prohibited the use of Catalan, People are hated in America because of their ethnic origin; civil rights have been denied to those with different skin color. Instead of hating on those different from us, we should celebrate them. Learning a second language is not easy, so every effort must be appreciated. Everyone can enjoy human rights if every unjust language policy should be terminated.

What is ‘National Origin’ Discrimination?

It is the type of discrimination in which a person or group is treated poorly because of their country of origin. For instance, the people of France mistreating an Asian would be considered discriminatory because of national origin. To give people their civil rights, laws should be made against prejudice and discrimination because of ethnic origin or second language. Every company should be asked to provide quality customer service regardless of their origin or mother tongue.

Companies and governments discriminate against people who do not understand English well. When people do not understand each other, misunderstandings happen, and problems arise.

Linguistic discrimination is unfair treatment based on the way people speak. It includes using language and characteristics of speech such as first language, accent, vocabulary, modality, syntax, and the perceived size of the tongue.

We can recognize people by their actions and gestures, but we cannot recognize them by their words alone. Discrimination is how we communicate that we’re discriminating against someone else.

These subtle yet damaging forms of linguistic discrimination can lead to many socio-affective issues such as anxiety, lack of motivation, and a negative self-concept that can significantly affect students’ competence and performance regarding the target language and their interaction inside the classroom.

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