New York City is the home to around 800 languages. As Mark Turin writes, “The number 7 line, which leads from Flushing in Queens to Times Square in the heart of Manhattan takes you on a journey which would thrill the heart of a linguistic anthropologist. Each stop along the line takes you into a different linguistic universe – Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali.”I had similar experience on the line 7, even though I did not know the name of station, I could easily tell where I was by listening to the language people were suing to chat. As Chinese, I felt isolated when people surrounding me chatting with Spanish, but as long as reaching Flushing, when seeing the signs written both in Chinese and English, more Asian appearance, and hearing Chinese, I felt like back home. Language is an important part of identity and the place where one’s native language is spoken makes people feel “belonging”. And that’s why people speaking same language become friends more easily since they believe that they must share something in common.
Futherm0re, language is about history, culture, and tradition. As English has become major language in the world, more and more people are using it to communicate and many languages are in danger. Turin draws an example of Yiddish in his blog. Yiddish was threatened in the city since the Jewish community moved out to the suburb. However, with the help of technology, Yiddish resource becomes available online and there are a lot of kids raised in Yiddish nowadays. I do think it necessary for people to maintain their native language except for learning major languages such as English and Spanish. Language can be defined as the heritage, recording a nation how developed from the very start. Different languages help people identify themselves and make the world divisive.