I saw that you made a direct connection between the animals that face the danger of being extinct and the languages that face the same problem. I respect both, but do not you think that this comparison is an exaggeration?
- Well, that depends on the position that you are willing to defend. You see if you want to preserve the population of an animal, all you have to do is to make that it has enough wood and space to breed. You may eliminate some enemies, but basically this is the only what you have to do. And what does it bring to you or the humanity? Just a bigger number of the animals that live on the planet? Contrary to that, if one preserves a language, what one is actually preserving is culture and culture is a mental framework that is able to provide people with answers to different question about the world and the Universe. Can you see the difference?
- If you put it this way, I surely can. However, I do not think that there is such close connection between one’s language and one’s spirit. After all, we are humans and we have the same spirit, though we might express its in different word.
- All right, I can see you point. There is another aspect of you book that I liked: you note that many native languages often possess more names of plants and animals than the contemporary science. Do you think that the scientists could make use of this database and enrich the scientific knowledge?
- Absolutely! That is one of the reasons why I think that we should protect languages: they store a considerable array of knowledge that otherwise is lost. Of course, it does not mean that to a certain extent science will have to rely on the folklore, but the native knowledge might show the right direction. In other words, the fruitful cooperation between the two is likely to contribute to development of the entire human civilization.
- Now I understand. Moreover, I think that the process of interaction with the native people that you