I’m currently working on a bunch of ideas I am trying to write up. It is just as hard to get out of random-writing-mode and into technical-writing-mode as it is transitioning the other way around. While we wait for this change however, here is something I wrote elsewhere in response to “Why don’t (more) Tamilians learn Tamil?”
[Establishing POV: I am Tamil, as in technically, but didn’t learn it as my second language in school either. I can’t write it, and can read about half the character set (which I figured out by matching English words and their corresponding Tamil script on bus route names). Which means I can inaccurately “read Tamil” by somewhat-crude interpolation and guesswork. I think I speak rather well in Tamil, and it’s definitely not accented (as in the parent had an issue with the “Anglicized-Tamil” the weather lady in the news used to use).]
Firstly, the anglicized accent (and other kinds as well) irritates me profusely, as it does my parents and grandparents. So I don’t think it is an age/generation issue. I am not even sure people think it “sounds cool”. I am tempted to believe people do care, but don’t care enough to force the weather girl to change.
Now to answer your question, at least as to why I didn’t learn Tamil
The ability to learn and use languages, just like anything else, comes in varying levels of difficulty to different people. Personally, I’ve found it extremely hard to pick up languages, so I’ve just chosen one that’s worked and stuck with it — English. I don’t intend on learning a language just to “preserve culture”. I am simplifying languages down to “just a medium to express ideas”, and as long as I can make do with one, one is all I will know.
Also, I think the important aspect of this is what you eluded to — what language do you “think” in. I think in English, and my inability to “easily learn” other languages, has pushed me away from learning something I’ve internally thought of as redundant, including my “native” tongue.
I am not proud of it; I see it as a choice necessitated by an impediment.