A Korean Grammar by Gustaf John Ramstedt, Juha Janhunen

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By Gustaf John Ramstedt, Juha Janhunen

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Example text

Attitudes to minority languages Quite apart from the very real practical difficulties encountered by speakers of many minority languages on a daily basis, the situation of such languages is compounded by what might quite simply be described as an image problem: As so many minority areas have suffered economic depression and loss of investment in new technologies, their inhabitants have become associated with rural backwardness and their language may be tainted with the same kind of stigma. It is this factor that provides the most challenging task for language planners to overcome.

Translation for Irish-speaking children As suggested above, the production and translation of written and/or audiovisual material for children is central to the development of the younger generation’s linguistic skills and is, therefore, of crucial importance to the survival of the minority language into the future. According to the award-winning translator of children’s books, Mildred Batchelder, ‘the interchange of children’s books between countries, through translation, influences communication between the people of those countries’ (quoted in Lo 1991: 146).

Indeed the cultural symbolic capital of the majority group is greatly enhanced by a strong presence of media technology. It may also be largely through the media that the intimacy-based domain of family is undermined in low-vitality contexts since both types of values are confronted within the home (ibid). However, if the powerful capacity of dominant language media to infiltrate the limited and fragile domains of minority language use is, firstly, fully understood and secondly, challenged by good quality minority language broadcasting, this tendency towards language shift may be slowed down, halted or even reversed.

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