Planning language, planning future

Author: Mart Rannut (University of Tartu)
Speaker: Mart Rannut
Topic: Language revitalization
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


Language has been planned and plans themselves assessed in a multitude of countries in Europe and America, and to a lesser extent in Africa and Asia. In the presentation the overview of the process of language planning is provided, based on the experience of language planning in various countries.

The very first steps include here general assessment of the current linguistic and sociolinguistic situation, sustainability of the language(-s) concerned, trends, security aspects and various threats (social, regional, virtual), vision or desirable outcome with the description of main goals and sub-goals (with measurable quantitative data), activities and sub-activities with specific indicators measuring outcome, result or activity itself.

The main motor of the whole process is status planning with legal, managerial, and PR-level (language marketing). For this planning to succeed, timely input from other language planning dimensions is necessary, first of all, from the corpus planning (general orthographic and grammatical standardization, geographical, business and personal name policies, terminology development and development of the domain of translation and interpreting, subtitling and dubbing). These standards are implemented in the educational system, providing education through various monolingual or multilingual educational programmes /models. Language technology as a support dimension must be developed in the level of minimal survival kit, securing competitiveness in this way.

Finally some typical misunderstandings and mistakes, drawbacks and failures are discussed that might help future language planners and thus, foster better results.