IELTS writing II: Every year several languages die out.

Maybo

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I have chosen an IELTS practice writing topic. Please check the essay and correct any mistakes.

Topic: Every year several languages die out. Some people think that this is not important because life will be easier if there are fewer languages in the world.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?


As our world is more connected, people tend to use dominating languages to communicate with others and that results in some minority languages disappear. Thus, some people argue that having fewer languages in the world is more convenient. I agree with this position for several reasons.


To begin with, having fewer languages reduces misunderstandings. During translation, some meanings or contexts will be inevitably lost. In fact, even if there is a good translator, meanings cannot be delivered one hundred percent as accurate as a language being spoken in the first language. Also, if speakers do not have enough cultural background for their second or third languages, they may not express themselves or understand the languages well, especially when other speakers use idioms to talk to them. What is more, some people may distort meanings purposely when translating. Therefore, if we have fewer languages in the world, less miscommunication will happen during translation.


Moreover, having fewer languages facilitates the development of society. When students learn abstract concepts, it may be hard for them to understand them in other languages, which hinders their learning progress. In addition, they have to memorise at least two languages of vocabulary, and it takes a lot more time to do it, which is very inefficient. By contrast, the considerable time that students spend on consulting a dictionary can be used in learning more knowledge or developing other interests. As a result, people can learn faster and have more leisure time, benefiting our society as a whole.


In conclusion, I agree that having fewer languages in the world improves our life because it reduces misunderstandings and facilitates the development of society.
 
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teechar

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I'm sorry Maybo, but the arguments you present in that essay are vague and not convincing at all!
The first thing you should do is to brainstorm and jot down all the points that you can think of that are of relevance to the given question. Then, based on those, pick a position. And only then do you start writing your paragraphs.

The question here is: Some people think that languages dying out is not important because life will be easier if there are fewer languages in the world. For now:
1- Brainstorm (for about 10 minutes), and write down any ideas (relevant to the above question) that come into your head.
2- Organize your ideas into two lists (one in support of and one opposing the question).
3- Post the two lists below.
Remember not to write vague ideas. The clearer a point is, the more useful it is to you and to the reader.
 

Maybo

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Support:
Having fewer languages reduces misunderstandings.
We don't need to train so many translators for different languages because resources can be focused on fewer languages.
When more resources put into particular languages, people will have higher language skills.
When they have higher language skills, they can convey their ideas more precisely.
If there are fewer languages, people will take less time to do translation.
People can travel abroad without learning so many languages.

Oppose:
Every language represents its own culture which help us understand particular society.
Languages sometimes evolve from absorbing other languages because some words may borrow from another language.
Different languages have their own wisdom which may give us some life advice.
 
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teechar

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Having fewer languages reduces misunderstandings.
How? I think people can easily communicate through interpreters.

We don't need to train so many translators for different languages because resources can be focused on fewer languages.
When more resources put into particular languages, people will have higher language skills.
When they have higher language skills, they can convey their ideas more precisely.
I think the languages that the question is talking about are minority languages, so these points don't really apply.

If there are fewer languages, people will take less time to do translation.
Again, quite often, speakers of such languages learn a second language that is more widely spoken. Thus, that is not an issue.

People can travel abroad without learning so many languages.
You don't really need to learn many languages to travel abroad!

Oppose:
Every language represents its own culture which help us understand a particular society.
Languages sometimes evolve from absorbing other languages because some words may get borrowed from another language.

Different languages have their own wisdom which may give us some life advice.
What do you mean by that? Are you confusing language with culture?
---------------------------------------------------------------
For the first set, try talking about how such languages are naturally dying out. In other words, their own speakers are abandoning them, because these languages are not practical (economically and socially). For the second set, the examiner is expecting you to talk about the loss of diversity.
Now, do you still want to stick with your original position?
 

Maybo

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How? I think people can easily communicate through interpreters.
I think the languages that the question is talking about are minority languages, so these points don't really apply.
Again, quite often, speakers of such languages learn a second language that is more widely spoken. Thus, that is not an issue.
It happens when I sometimes want to ask questions or try to explain things in English, I find I confuse people sometimes. If I can speak in Chinese, I believe miscommunication can be reduced. If I study or work abroad and English is not popular in that country, I need to learn a third language(that could be a minority language). Therefore, I believe miscommunication would happen more frequently.

You don't really need to learn many languages to travel abroad!

But there are still many people who don't speak English. At least I need to use Google Translate to ask for directions.


What do you mean by that? Are you confusing language with culture?

There are different old sayings that are derived from ancient stories which teach us how to deal with difficulties.
---------------------------------------------------------------
For the first set, try talking about how such languages are naturally dying out. In other words, their own speakers are abandoning them, because these languages are not practical (economically and socially). For the second set, the examiner is expecting you to talk about the loss of diversity.
Now, do you still want to stick with your original position?
I will try to come up with some points from these directions.
 
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Tdol

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Dominating or dominant?
 

Tdol

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If I can speak in Chinese, I believe miscommunication can be reduced.

That may sound fine as a speaker of a language spoken by a huge number of people, but the simple fact is that most non-native speakers of Chinese will not understand you because Chinese is not taught as a second language in many schools throughout the world. This is unlikely to change because of the human resources- they are more likely to teach French in the UK because they have the teachers to do that. Such a linguistic shift will be enormously complex.
 

teechar

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It happens when I sometimes want to ask questions or try to explain things in English, I find I confuse people sometimes. If I can speak in Chinese, I believe miscommunication can be reduced. If I study or work abroad and English is not popular in that country, I need to learn a third language(that could be a minority language). Therefore, I believe miscommunication would happen more frequently.
......
But there are still many people who don't speak English. At least I need to use Google Translate to ask for directions.
Again, you're missing the point. Chinese is not under threat. The question is about endangered languages. You're expected to infer that.

There are different old sayings that are derived from ancient stories which teach us how to deal with difficulties.
You'd already covered that aspect (in a previous point).

I will try to come up with some points from these directions.
Good. Do that, and post below.
 

Tdol

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There are languages that will die in this decade because the last native speakers will die- these are the endangered languages.
 

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Try:

As our world becomes better connected, people tend to use dominant languages to communicate with each other.

If a language has only a few speakers it's not very useful, is it?

I don't know what languages are dying out, and nobody else does either.

Did you know that in India there are 80 languages with a million or more speakers?

Did you know that English is the language of aviation worldwide?
 

Maybo

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Economically and socially:
Some languages may not have a written form, so it is difficult to pass them down to the next generation and hard for foreigners to learn them systematically
Some languages are very unpopular, and they cannot express many difficult ideas, so they are not practical and not worth learning it.
Time should be spent on learning dominant languages which increase our access to higher education and better career.

Loss of diversity:
Some words may only exist in the endangered languages so if they disappeared, such meanings of the words could be hard to be explained in another language.
As a result, some knowledge that deal with particular situations may also be lost along with the languages.
A language has its own thinking system and culture which may inspire creativity when people exchange ideas.
 

emsr2d2

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Economically and socially:
Some languages [STRIKE]may[/STRIKE] do not have a written form, so it is difficult to pass them down to the next generation and hard for foreigners to learn them systematically.
Some languages are very unpopular, and they cannot express many difficult ideas, so they are not practical and not worth learning. [STRIKE]it.[/STRIKE]
Time should be spent on learning dominant languages [STRIKE]which[/STRIKE] that increase our access to higher education and better careers.

Loss of diversity:
Some [STRIKE]words[/STRIKE] concepts [STRIKE]may only[/STRIKE] exist only in the endangered language [STRIKE]s[/STRIKE] so if [STRIKE]they[/STRIKE] the language disappeared, [STRIKE]such[/STRIKE] the meanings of [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] such [STRIKE]words[/STRIKE] concepts could be hard to [STRIKE]be explained[/STRIKE] explain in another language.
As a result, some knowledge that deals with particular situations may also be lost along with the languages.
A language [STRIKE]has[/STRIKE] might have its own thinking system and culture, which may inspire creativity when people exchange ideas.

Note my changes above. What do you mean when you say a language is "unpopular"?
 

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I don't know why they expect you to have an opinion on this. I guess they're just testing your writing skills.

A language can be around for a very long time without having a written form. Most languages were probably around for many generations before they had a written form.

I would say a language has very few speakers -- not that it's unpopular.

Any language that dies out (ceases to exist) had very few speakers, so it probably won't be missed.

Latin is sometimes called a "dead language" but there are many languages based on Latin. Also, many scientific terms are Latinate. There are many English words that are from Latin -- either through French or directly.

That some languages thrive and others die out (cease to exist) is probably not a new thing at all.
 
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Maybo

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emsr2d2

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I mean that very few people speak it.

Remember to write complete sentences on the forum. "Unpopular" doesn't work for that context. In general, we use it to mean that not many people like it. You could use "uncommon" but it's better to say what you mean - "Some languages are spoken by very few people".
 

teechar

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Some languages are very unpopular, and they cannot express many difficult ideas, so they are not practical and not worth learning it.
No. That makes no sense. Don't use it.

[STRIKE]Time should be spent on[/STRIKE] Many people are prepared to spend time and money learning dominant languages which increase our access to higher education and better career.
That can be a sub-point or a supporting idea. It does not directly concern the given question.

The others are okay, but note the correction above.
You might want to add that a language is a representation and a repository of a culture, so if the language disappears, the associated culture is likely to follow suit.
Now, which position do you want to take?
 

Maybo

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No. That makes no sense. Don't use it.


That can be a sub-point or a supporting idea. It does not directly concern the given question.

The others are okay, but note the correction above.
You might want to add that a language is a representation and a repository of a culture, so if the language disappears, the associated culture is likely to follow suit.
Now, which position do you want to take?
Can I write two essays? One for support side and one for opposition side?
 

Tdol

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Some languages are very unpopular, and they cannot express many difficult ideas, so they are not practical and not worth learning it.

Many, if not most, linguists dispute this. Languages have mechanisms to deal with things like new technology and ideas. The Vatican still publishes in Latin, which died out long before the internet.
 

teechar

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