Communication and Humanities



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Florentina Berns , HTR318: Cultural Tourism
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Kathleen O'Brien, Hospitality and Tourism

Language defines culture, strengthens the bonds of people between speakers, and provides history and value that shape the identity of places. It is also important to note that language is the centerpiece of a cultural tourist's experience in a foreign country. The diversity of languages still in use to today and those trying to be preserved are irreplaceable. UNESCO states that every two weeks a language becomes extinct. Why? There are over seven thousand languages but only twenty-three account for more than half the world's population. English surpassed Mandarin Chinese with Hindi, Spanish and French. Why are languages disappearing and why does it matter? This qualitative research study examines reasons for language extinction on a global scale and seeks to understand implications for cultural travel experiences. Linguists work tirelessly with communities who are trying to salvage their language. These linguists, after conferences, workshops and language immersion classes, travel far and wide to distant places to teach across the globe or publish their findings. I will prove that language shapes the identity of a destination and adds value to travelers' experiences. It is my goal with this research to make a case that diversity of languages can be preserved with initiatives undertaken by the global tourism industry. I believe in my heart that cultural identity is worth saving.

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Save our Languages: Cultural Tourism to the Rescue
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