Originally Posted by Ataturk
What are these "other reasons" for having an official language?
Oh, off the top of my head, some historical reasons include:
- partial disavowal of minority populations within national boundaries--either by an official majority rule or by the rule of a powerful minority / plurality
- colonial administration of a country and an attempt to supplant native languages with an imperial/bureaucratic one
- in the aftermath of colonialism, a desire to reclaim a degree of indigenous autonomy
Notice that around this particular matter, both Canada (with its two official European languages) and the U.S. (with some calls for English as its official language) have related but different and complicated histories. (To spell out the obvious: the U.S. is in some senses a post-colonial state but the independence that was achieved wasn't for the indigenous population but for the colonists. The whole situation is even more complicated because of how big the U.S. is and what different kinds of languages--indigenous and imported and somewhere in between--have been represented within its shifting boundaries.) I actually have no clue when/why Canada adopted its two official languages. But that's okay since as a card-carrying member of the left, I've never signed any kind of agreement whereby I endorse every fucking thing Canada does or has done or has done in the past and doesn't fix.
But thanks for playing Let's Manufacture Hypocrisy! Always great fun!Edited by erictheobscure - 5/2/16 at 3:54pm