The Struggle For Language

What happens to languages after drastic political distortion?

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Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
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01New German20070121

Chris Bowlby hears how German, a once great international language of culture and science, is trying finally to banish the echoes of barbarism.

02Turkish20070128

Maureen Freely hears how writers like Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk work with a language that had half its vocabulary expunged, or made politically incorrect, in a government reform that banned words of Arabic and Persian origin in favour of pure Turkish.

03 LASTAfrikaans20070204

Will the collapse of apartheid in South Africa lead to the eventual demise of the Afrikaans language? For playwright Mike Van Kraan, this is personal.

Brought up by his Afrikaans-speaking parents, he refused to speak the language as a young man as a means of fighting apartheid.

Yet today, in the new South Africa, his children are coming home from school speaking Afrikaans.

Mike goes on a personal journey to define for himself the struggle for the language.

Contributors include F W De Klerk and Andre Brink.