Archive for the Category: Endangered languages

Languages in Bhutan

I listened to a very interesting programme on the BBC about languages in Bhutan today. It mentioned that although the 19 or so indigenous languages of Bhutan have equal status, in theory at least. In practise, particularly in education, the main languages used are Dzongkha / Bhutanese and English, and to a lesser extent, Nepali. […]

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Social Media Helps Threatened Language Threatened by Social Media

Today we have a guest post by Alissa Stern of BASAbali.org On the eve of the Balinese holy day of knowledge, learning, and wisdom (Saraswati Day), a free innovative multi-media Balinese-Indonesian-English wiki dictionary was just made available to people in Bali and throughout the world. The wiki uses social media to save Balinese, a language […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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