Friday, August 10, 2012


Dear Friends,
Greetings! I have learned that South Sudan and the United States have a similar struggle when it comes to indigenous languages versus colonialist languages.

In the United States many of the American Indian tribes have languages/tongues that are nearly extinct. This is true in many parts of the world that have been colonized. The reality of the United States is that beginning with Europe, the American Indians were colonized by outsiders coming in, taking their land, changing their culture and forcing them to use languages that were not their own. I learned this a few years ago myself when a friend from Belfast in Northern Ireland corrected me as I talked of the culture in the US as if it had never been anything other than a European culture. In the current day and age it is not so much a European culture anyhow as so many parts of the country are becoming much more Latino, for instance.

In South Sudan Arabic was the first colonizer language and then English became so. At this time in history as far as I can tell in South Sudan there are first the tribal languages, then Arabic and then the further layer of English which has been named the official language of South Sudan.

A country seems to need a common language in order to function as a country and yet the question becomes, what is being lost as people no longer function exclusively in their own native tongue?