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Language has been the topic of many debates throughout history It is an issue which can cause upheaval and even bloodshed A modern day example of this can be found right here in Canada A great amount of time and emotional input among other things has been invested into Quebecs sovereignty debate There has been no long-term solution to the problem This may be due to the lack of understanding the majority tongue has of the issues Language is a part of ones identity One might even venture to say the most important component It is the framework used to make sense of the world Of course other methods are adequate to do this but language is paramount To understand one must interpret and internalize Ones language is interwoven with culture consequently morals values and traditions are passed down by language to future generations In Friels Translations correlation of language and identity are best exemplified through the character Owen who embraces English forgets what language actually means and in essence slights who he isOwen is the Irishman in Translations who seizes English He believes it to be an element of success Language is to be manipulated to fulfill his needs The culture that is a vital part of the Irish tongue is forgotten or more conveniently brushed aside to allow for betterment A major problem that arises from this is that culture is socially constructed symbolically maintained and transmitted Sackney 59 Without Irishmen speaking and experiencing their language it will die and inevitably be only a memory of better times As far as Owen is concerned his mother tongue is outdated and for the uncivilized This attitude is highlighted when he speaks to his long time friends and family members at the hedge-school My job is to translate the quaint archaic tongue you people persist in speaking into the Kings good English Friel 29 The Gaelic tongue is becoming obsolete in the wake of colonization
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