The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 25, 2006

Voices: Language analysis


There are several language families, but major emphasis will be placed on the Indo-European family which forms the world's most widely distributed language family. The Indo-European includes Greek, Indo-Iranian, Baltic, Celtic, Slavic, Germanic and Latin-based romance.

Indo-Iranian languages include Hindi, Bingali, Iranian and Kurdish. Baltic languages include Latvian, Lithuanian, and extinct Old Persian. Celtic dialects spoken in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Britain are becoming extinct. Slavic languages include Russian, Polish, Ukranian, Czech, Slovakian, Serbian, and Bulgarian.

Present-day romance languages include Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and French. French has changed most from its Latin base as it has Celtic and Germanic influences.

Germanic languages, also called Teutonic, include German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Frisian, English, Icelandic and extinct Gothic. Johann Gutenberg invented movable type and produced the first printed edition of Bible in Gothic German about 1455.

Hungarian is surrounded by Indo-European languages but belongs to the Uralic family.

English is essentially a Teutonic language and has assimilated many words of Latin origin. Anglos, Saxons and Juts were Germanic people who went to the British Isles after the Romans left.

English is the international language for business and commerce. More people in China can read and speak English than can read and speak English in the United States. More people on the Earth speak English as a second language than any other language.

The Indo-European family is now custodian of the bulk of modern scientific knowledge.

Vocabularies and grammar of Teutonic languages are excellent for study and work in science and technology. Less than 30 percent of the people in the world speak a Teutonic language as their first language. More than 70 percent of Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology and medicine have been rewarded to people whose first language was a Teutonic language.

Arthur L. Strobel

Joplin