THE IMPORTANCE OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE
This recorded interview between Mark McNaught and Professor Alfred Baird discusses the crucial importance of language to a civilised nation, the core of its existence, in particular how its demotion and ultimate erosion is a key priority for the invading country to achieve. It’s worth an hour of your time.
National language is the driving force behind unity of the nation’s people, and makes them distinct from other nations – provided you give your language respect. Giving respect to your national language means that it should be one’s primary language, as well as the preferred source of communication at every level. To my mind we have two national languages, Gaelic and Old Scots, the kind used by Robert Burns and resurrected by Hugh MacDiarmid. The latter gives us thousands of words common only to Scotland. Our native language is part of our culture. Losing language is the path to losing identity.
Language is the most important aspects for a national identity, being the second, but not less important, culture, which includes different aspects like history, literature, arts, crafts, science and many other. Language creates a mindset, a shared identity, a way to communicate with your national peers in a way that no other people usually understand, no so much for the grammar or the meaning of the words, but for the feeling each sentence creates. It also allows expressing concepts that no other language can, which stem from history and the type of relationships that the physical environment creates. Language is so rich that the loss of it destroys a huge part of the heritage our ancestors have given us. This is why some big countries have worked so hard to destroy the language of smaller nationalities within, with or without success.
National language drives national unity in any country, even if there are hundreds of other languages and dialects present in the state. Apart from a name, a boundary, a currency, or a flag, a national language makes a county respectable.
National language indicates the national character of a country. If you want to penetrate and understand profoundly a society, you must know how to speak and write their language. If you are fluent in someone else’s native language, their people will readily accept you and you can better understand the cultural aspects and nuances of that society.
National language has a connection with the people of the country and their territory. One or the other languages are spoken in a country are sometimes referred as national languages, but one must steer clear from such confusion. For Scotland, English is an imposed language.
The National language of a country makes the people of a country unique from others, if you respect and speak their language, it can be a favoured source of interaction at the level of entry for businesses.
A national language colours everything we say and do, including our art, our paintings, murals, and prints. The loss of Scotland’s singular art colleges to universities, fire, and the fashion of ‘installation’ work removes from Scotland a unique way of seeing, and the representation of a unique topography, people traditions and light.
Language is a vital part of human connection. Although all species have their ways of communicating, humans are the only ones that have mastered cognitive language communication. Language allows us to share our ideas, thoughts, and feelings with others. It has the power to build societies, but given an alien language to speak, also tear them down. A native language is like the non-passport identity to identify somebody with some nations or some tribes. And it is really relevant for your struggle to be respected as a nation state.
Language is everything.