Are all words derived equal?February 24, 2017
Our Canadian brothers are showing the way on leniency, providing warm clothing, heating, and a new life for 40,000 Syrian refugees. They settle in Whitehorse and Yellowknife, among the coldest communities in the world, warning about the temperature dropping to the -40C (-40F). But they don't mind the great adjustment.
“Everyone knows we are Syrian refugees. They stop and shake hands with us and ask us how we are doing,” said one Syrian man through a translator. “Here it's not warm in weather, but warm in emotions and feelings.”
Meanwhile, the Americans living in the northeastern states didn't seem to care about immigrants crossing the American-Canadian border leading to Quebec. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau don't intend to give Donald Trump his opinion on the current state of the world, but what is happening in North America is an interesting scenario. Imagine the English language, Canadian English if there is one, will be mixed up with Arabic words or expressions. It can happen after a generation or two, which will enrich the language. Right? There might be purists who have uneasy feelings about it.
The Bard may not be the one who quipped that all words were derived equal. English originated from a foreign dialect in the continent, which doesn't mean any language coming outside of Europe must be put to scrutiny. There may be a double standard, as it's OK to inject FINITO into an English expression. It's European in origin, but QAHWA AL-BUN may be another one. Some English speakers will rather play hardball and stick to the current edition of the dictionary. They will favour the banning of words of Arabic origin, which can turn into a contentious issue. Then again, it won't happen anytime soon. There are more pressing matters (like how a conflict displaced thousands of Syrians in their own homeland).
The silent majority won't give much thought about the language issue, as they rather think about providing three meals a day (during the next few years). There's also a fear of Arab culture not assimilating with the customs of their adopted homeland. It can be similar to a second invasion, but this can be the perception of a paranoid mind. How about Australia? It's possible for Syrian refugees to settle in the Outback. After all, they consider an arid landscape as their home. Then again, there's a subject of leniency. Put it in another way, the fear of the uncertainty would lead to second thoughts. Trump USA, 1. Australia, 0.
If this will be a language from another nationality, then linguists will welcome it with open arms. English couldn't be a richer language, telling those who are unfamiliar with it about the gradual changes. This is the only way for the language to survive. In the case of the English language, it becomes the dialect of a globalized world. The Arab factor will put it into a test, which can leave Australians (and the rest of the world) wondering about the future of the planet. Go with the flow? Let's wait and see.
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