Archive for the Category: Language revival

Ainu language

An article I came across today talks about the Ainu language in which the author, a Russian linguist, talks of his quest to find Ainu speakers in Hokkaido. He met plenty of Ainu but found only two people able to speak the language. He does find quite a few people who know a few words […]

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Also posted in Endangered languages, Language 1 Comment

Preserving and reviving languages – a high-tech solution

A hand-held device called a Phraselator, that can translate between English and a variety of other languages, has been adapted by a Cherokee business man, Don Thornton, to help with the preservation and revival of Native American languages, according to an article I found today. You can talk into the Phraselator in English, it recognises […]

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Kernewek/Kernowek/Kernuak/Curnoack

Moves are apparently being made to establish a single written form of Cornish, which currently has four different spelling systems. The Cornish Language Partnership has set up a Linguistic Working Group consisting of Cornish speakers with a good knowledge of the language to recommend a solution to this excess of orthographies. A conference will be […]

Also posted in Cornish, Language 3 Comments

Language hotspots

The Enduring Voices Project, which I came across today on the National Geographic website, has the aims of documenting endangered languages and preventing language extinction by identifying the most crucial areas where languages are endangered and embarking on expeditions to: Understand the geographic dimensions of language distribution Determine how linguistic diversity is linked to biodiversity […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Language 8 Comments

Urban Irish

According to some of the people I met in Ireland last week, Irish might become a mainly urban language in the future. At the moment the majority of regular Irish speakers live in remote, rural areas, the Gaeltachtaí. These areas are suffering from depopulation because there are few opportunities for young people, who tend to […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Irish, Language 1 Comment

Reviving Sanskrit

Recently the number of people studying Sanskrit, the best known of India’s classical languages, has been increasing, according to an article I found today. The piece mentions that there’s a lot of interest in Sanskrit both in India, and among India ex-pats in the USA and other countries. Reasons for this include the booming Indian […]

Also posted in Language 5 Comments

Word of the day – puke wehewehe ʻōlelo

Today’s word, puke wehewehe ‘ōlelo, is the Hawai‘ian for dictionary. It means literally ‘book [that] explains words’. I found a good Hawai‘ian-English dictionary today, and also some online Hawai‘ian lessons. According to this article, the Hawai‘an language is in a slightly more secure position today than it was 20 years, when the most of those […]

Also posted in Hawaiian, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments