I wonder if languages that are hard in certain ways, for example French for spelling, German in terms of grammar or Chinese in terms of writing, end up creating a special difficulty for social mobility. All languages have a class distinction in terms of the ability of different individuals to master them. But those that are especially hard, create an additional obstacle for class mobility. People who don’t master their own language in all cultures are poorly regarded by the elites, but if the language they speak are very hard to improve as an adult, then language can be an obstacle for social mobility. Individuals can suffer discrimination in jobs and their social standing can be diminished just because of not mastering the idiosincracies of their language. Is it a coincidence that English is associated with democracy and social mobility?
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