Archive for the Category: Endangered languages

Extreme Polyglottery

The Polyglot Gathering in Berlin last week was fantastic and I enjoyed everything about it. The organizers did an excellent job and everything went well, with only minor hitches. Many other people helped things to run smoothly, and gave talks and/or arranged discussions and language practise sessions. Venue The venue was a huge hostel/hotel near […]

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Code talkers

The role of the Navajo and other Native American tribes played in secret communications or code talking in World War II is fairly well known, and today I found out on the BBC News magazine that members of Choctaw Nation played a similar role in World War I. They communicated military information via phone, and […]

Also posted in Language 1 Comment

Publishing Children’s Books in Endangered Writing Systems

Today we have a guest post by Tim Brookes —————————————————- I knew next to nothing about writing systems until five years ago, when more or less by accident I began carving endangered alphabets. I’d spent my life as a nonfiction writer, with no pretensions to be a visual artist, when one Christmas I decided to […]

Also posted in English, Language Comments Off

Attitudes of minority languages speakers to learners

A friend of mine posted an interesting question on Regional, Minority & Indigenous Languages group on Facebook: “Has anyone ever experienced rejection or hostility from a minority group for learning their language?” This generated a lot of discussion. Sometimes when I speak Welsh to people in shops in Bangor they will reply in English. I […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 11 Comments

Wiradjuri

I came across an interesting article today about the Wiradjuri language and how it is being revived. In 1981 only three people spoke Wiradjuri and by 2009 no native speakers remained, however since 1988 the language has been revived, thanks particularly to the efforts of Stan Grant Senior, a Wiradjuri elder, who worked with a […]

Also posted in Language, Language revival 2 Comments

Kumzari

The other day I came across an article about the Kumzari language and people. It reports that: Iran’s threat of closing Straits of Hormuz, advent of TV, Internet to tiny village located on northernmost tip of Oman’s Musandam peninsula threaten survival of thousand year-old Kumzari language. It describes Kumzari as: the ancient Kumzari language, a […]

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上海闲话 (Shanghainese)

According to an article I came across today, the local government in Shanghai is trying to preserve Shanghainese, the variety of Wu spoken in Shanghai. This involves recording people who speak ‘pure’ Shanghainese talking about local legends and traditions, etc. This is the third time such a project has been attempted, and they hope to […]

Also posted in Chinese, Language, Language learning 8 Comments

Humboldt’s parrot

There’s a story that in 1799 the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was exploring the Orinoco and Amazon rivers and documenting the languages and cultures of the tribes he encountered there. While spending time with one tribe of Carib people, he asked them about their neighbours and rivals, the Maypure, who he […]

Also posted in Language, Language revival 3 Comments

Language Conference

Other the past few days there was a conference at Trinity College Carmarthen entitled Reversing Language Shift: How to Re-awaken a Language Tradition, which was run by the Foundation for Endangered Languages. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to intend myself, but have found an interesting report and multilingual video from it on the BBC News. Here’s […]

Also posted in Language 17 Comments

Endangered Languages and Lost Knowledge

Today I came across a fascinating video entitled Endangered Languages and Lost Knowledge in which Daniel Everett talks about the Pirahã language, among others things. The video is also available here.

Also posted in Language 6 Comments