Main content

Monolingual societies

Is there even something sinister and oppressive to the idea of monolingualism?

Presenter Simon Calder is from Britain, where, on the surface, everyone speaks English. In Brazil everyone appears to speak Portuguese, in Russia, Russian. But scratch the surface, and other languages appear, and not just those of immigrants. Simon meets speakers of indigenous languages (like Welsh in Britain), of dialects (like Moselfrankish in Germany) and vernaculars (like African-American Vernacular English, in the US). These speakers all use the mainstream language every day, but code-switch to their variants, questioning whether their societies are monolingual. Is there even something sinister and oppressive to the idea of monolingualism? A tool to control, used by emperors on conquered peoples, and by governments on immigrants?

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Sat 14 Nov 2020 02:32GMT

Broadcasts

  • Tue 23 Jul 2019 12:32GMT
  • Tue 23 Jul 2019 17:06GMT
  • Tue 23 Jul 2019 21:06GMT
  • Wed 24 Jul 2019 01:32GMT
  • Sat 27 Jul 2019 08:32GMT
  • Sun 28 Jul 2019 17:06GMT
  • Wed 11 Nov 2020 05:32GMT
  • Wed 11 Nov 2020 06:32GMT
  • Wed 11 Nov 2020 09:32GMT
  • Wed 11 Nov 2020 11:32GMT
  • Wed 11 Nov 2020 21:32GMT
  • Wed 11 Nov 2020 23:32GMT
  • Sat 14 Nov 2020 02:32GMT

Could you be a super linguist?

Could you be a super linguist?

Challenge your language skills with The Open University