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Bilingualism in East Asia Countries Essay (Critical Writing)


There have been several debates why people in East Asia Countries (South Korea, China, and Japan) have negative impressions and stereotypes about people communicating in their second language in the city.

However, much literature on bilingualism focuses on the experience of minorities because in European and North American context bilingual families tend to be from minority groups.

In line with this, Mother tongue or native language is a cultural stereotype with strong ideological implications varying from culture to culture.

New languages are acquired throughout life for functional reasons-personal advancement and communicating- rather than in association with a complex, personal identity or to give access to another group.

David Matsumoto and Juang Linda stated “most of the problems associated with bilingualism are social or cultural problems” (David, and Juang 258), principal among them is the majority-minority contrast. David Matsumoto and Juang Linda further stated “each bilingual community is unique” (257).

East Asia Countries present an extremely complex picture of bilingualism in contrast to that of the Western World. For the society as a whole, the situation is likely to be complex.

In my opinion, it is because East Asia Countries are not diverse (did not experienced different diversity culture) compared to the western countries, so they view them as surprise people.

In line with Derrick Sharp’s statement, it will be observed that most East Asian Countries are city-states in which speakers from the different ethnic and linguistic groups have been relatively isolated from that of the western world.

Furthermore, there tend to be concentrations of bilingual families among migrant families who may also be economically disadvantaged.

There have been no significant in-migration to most East Asian Countries since the early sixties, hence no much exposure to diverse culture in the world. Moreover, there have been no personal relationships or interaction with people from a different culture.

In most East Asian countries, multilingualism is restricted to elites; although patterns of language ability differ between the classes (and the races) multilingualism is the norm at all levels of the society.

Until the twentieth century inhabitants of East African countries could sustain a lifestyle which operated largely in a mono-ethnic enclave. The Chinese community for example, is drawn from many ‘dialect groups’ including Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, and Hainanese.

It was even possible to live and work within a community that was virtually mono-dialectal. The whole concept of bilingualism becomes problematical outside a monolingual context. The archetypical native speaker is a monolingual who has always lived in a community which is monolingual in the same language.

The spread of bilingualism in most East Asian countries is mainly an effect of learning other languages within the continent.

As in most Western Countries, the range of proficiency in other languages among the inhabitants is wide, with some having native-like effective language and others having only negligible knowledge.

In conclusion, bilingualism cannot be related to any single nation or ethnicity; to a certain extent it must fit in to those who apply it as means of communication. Hence distinctive relationship that is present between Asian countries and language needs to be considered in detail.

David Matsumoto and Juang Linda (2012) maintained that a language attains universal standing when it increases a ‘special responsibility that is acknowledged in all country’ (258) and that this unique standing can be realized by making it a standardized means of communication.

Work Cited

David, Matsumoto, and Juang Linda. Culture and Psychology. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019, April 3). Bilingualism in East Asia Countries. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-in-east-asia-countries/

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"Bilingualism in East Asia Countries." IvyPanda, 3 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-in-east-asia-countries/.

1. IvyPanda. "Bilingualism in East Asia Countries." April 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-in-east-asia-countries/.


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IvyPanda. "Bilingualism in East Asia Countries." April 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-in-east-asia-countries/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Bilingualism in East Asia Countries." April 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-in-east-asia-countries/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Bilingualism in East Asia Countries'. 3 April.

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