People talk about the tragedy of language death, but much of the worry focuses on losing the “exotic.” We worry terribly about indigenous Canadian and Australian languages, but not about other languages.
Recently I read about the dialect(s) of Arabic spoken in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which encouraged me to reflect on the potential death of the dialect of a major language. English is becoming so pervasive that children and even young adults cannot speak Arabic comfortably. The nonchalant attitude of the interviewees towards Arabic made me sad.
Italian and Arabic: two well-known languages, not terribly exotic. No money is going into preserving these dialects.
Why do we care about indigenous languages dying, but not about other, less exotic, deaths?