The writer’s premise is wrong: no language is static – each language changes by adaption and adoption to the changing needs of its speakers.
The English that we speak today is vastly different from that of the Shakespearean era. Yes, our beloved Kinyarwanda is changing and will continue to change, but it will not “die out”. The 20 million Kinyarwanda speakers in this region are vast in number compared to the many small language groups in Africa, which are truly in danger of disappearing yet, language survival is about numbers.
I predict that we shall still be proudly speaking our mother tongue in 500 years (the year 2513!) but that it will have changed significantly from what is spoken today. Change, as they say, is the one true constant.
S. Rukundo, Huye
The only way to preserve Kinyarwanda is to make it the language of instruction in schools. That is how the Europeans have managed to maintain their languages. Apart from most of the citizens of the United Kingdom and the United States, all other Europeans and the rest of the Americas are not native English speakers.
Reactions to the article, “Is Kinyarwanda on the brink of extinction?” (The New Times, March 28)
Language survival is about numbers