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Joost Kuckartz

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Can forcing language upon nations actually kill the nation?

Although a very long talk and not everybody agrees with her, I'm curious about her statement "the only way to kill a nation is to kill its language". Although English is spreading into every language, it's not modifying the language largely.

However did historical events kill nations? During colonization, where often another language was forced upon people? I'm sure it's quite powerful, over time culture is modified because of 'lack of expression' maybe. The only thing then left for a nation is its own history (which, due to colonization, gets blended in with the colonizers...). Thoughts?

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Closing Statement from Joost Kuckartz

A nation is different than a country: it is defined by a group of people who have common descent, history, culture or language. Completely killing a nation is not possible, however forcing a language does modify the culture. Cultures are however constantly changing, adapting to the challenges at hand.

Colonizers have been trying to force languages upon people, and it did change their culture, but the complete killing of a nation did not happen. The culture of nations is so resilient that, even when the language is lost, they are still considered a nation. Complete assimilation of nations (the blending with colonizers) has not been discussed.

The short answer to the posed question could therefore be "No, forcing a language upon nations does not kill the nation, it modifies it".

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    Jan 9 2014: That's one way of if not killing but suppressing a nation. My nation has faced it & heroically fought to blunt that ill motivated plan of colonial invaders back in 1950s.

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