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And there you have it.  The centrifugal force of nationalism (in the separatist sense) against 
the centripital force of desire for a common language.  It's all tradeoffs.  And you have to 
judge each case on its merits.  You can't say all small-language movements are a bad idea, 
or that they're all good.

But, all things being equal, I'd advocate that a 'new' country like Kameroon push for general 
knowledge of a major language, useful outside the country, rather than elevating one of its 
native languages at the expense of such knowledge.  It all depends on whether the 
government wants its citizens to have more opportunities, or prefers that they be that much 
more insulated from outside influences.

Jacques mentioned Mexico.  Imagine how bollixed-up Mexico would be today if it had 
decided to reject the evil European language, Spanish, in favor of Nahuatl and the dozens of 
other languages originally spoken there.  

And one more thought:  Preserving a small language can indeed help to preserve small 
cultures  but are all small cultures worth preserving?  Another thing that has to be 
decided on a case by case basis.