Archive for the ‘ethnic groups’ Category

Bodéwadmi, Keepers of the Fire

9 April 2011

Potawatomi (pot) is a language spoken in the Great Lakes region and Kansas in North America. It is spoken by the Potawatomi, who call themselves the Bodéwadmi, which means “Keepers of the Fire.”

According to the Ethnologue, there are 1250 speakers in Canada and 50 in the US. The APWAD blog says there are less than 20 in the US.

Along with the Algonquin, Nipissing, Oji-Cree and Odawa, the Potawatomi are an Ojibwe people, and one of the interesting aspects of Ojibwe culture is the use of birch bark scrolls, known as wiigwaasabak and mide-wiigwaas. These scrolls have complex glyphs (writing symbols), though according to Wikipedia, not much is known about them due to their secret nature.

Many resources are available for learning Potawatomi.

This post was inspired by “Endangered Language: Potawatomi” on the (sometimes outrageously funny) Languages Hell Yeah blog, and the many links in “Potawatomi language” on the Pokagon blog.

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News in Brief: Australian Education, Quechua in US University, EL Week Approaching

26 March 2011

Government speaking the Goldfields’ language

In Australia, the government is working with indigenous language groups to create a national framework for teaching indigenous languages in the school.

Quechua Language Finds New Home At American University

The Office of International Affairs at the Ohio State University announced on February 8 that OSU would offer two classes in Quechua (que) in spring quarter, which begins Monday. The classes will be taught by Luis Morató, a native speaker of Quechua. The Incas used Quechua as a means to unify their empire, and with some 44 languages documented under the macrolanguage Quechua, there are more than 10 million speakers today. Despite this number, the language faces great challenged in Spanish-immersed Latin America.

Endangered Languages Week 2011

Once again, the School of Oriental and African Studies of London is holding its annual Endangered Languages Week. The dates this week are from May 9 to 14. Learn phrases and the background of at least 12 spoken and signed languages from around the globe, attend a workshop on documentation and more.

The Fifth Celtic Language

11 June 2007

According to Wikipedia, Charles Leland referred to the language Shelta (sth) as the fifth Celtic language (family), though with at least Irish Gaelic (gle), Scottish Gaelic (gla), Manx (glv); Breton (bre), Cornish (cor) and Welsh (cym), there are certainly more than five.

The speakers of Shelta are known as Travellers, a people also commonly known by the derogatory term “Tinker” because of the tin work they are known for.

Richard Waters has a Website dedicated to the Travellers in the US, called Travellers’ Rest. This site includes English > US Shelta and US Shelta > English dictionaries as well as links, music, essays and notes about some of the controversies surrounding the Travellers.

Although related to Gaeilge, the syntax is largely based on English.

Parts of R. A. Stewart Macalister’s 1937 The Secret Languages of Ireland can be found at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and Kobo Books, the vocabulary starting on page 174. Some of the other parts can be found on those sites as well.

Two other nomadic groups are the Romani (or Roma) and Sanka.