Archive for the ‘Berber’ Category

Official status for Berber on ballot

1 July 2011

Today, Moroccans are voting on a new constitution, which includes a provision for Berber (family) as an official language. According to “Moroccans vote on king’s new constitution,” the constitution is expected to pass, and if so, Morocco will be the first North African nation with an official indigenous language.

According to Ethnologue, Morocco has the following Berber languages:

  • Ghomara (gho) – 1000 people (Wikipedia) or extinct (Ethnologue),
  • Senhaja de Srair (sjs) – definitely alive (Wikipedia) or extinct (Ethnologue),
  • Tachelhit or Shilha (shi) – 3 million speakers,
  • Central Atlas Tamazight (tzm) – 3 to 5 million (Wikipedia) or 3.1 million (Ethnologue), and Tachelhit
  • Tarifit or Riff (rif) – 4 million people (Wikipedia) or 1.7 million (Ethnologue).

Read or listen to the NPR story at “Moroccans Vote on New Constitution.”

UPDATE: The new constitution was passed. See “Moroccan voters approve constitutional changes” in the Los Angeles Times.

Video making the case to revitalize

13 April 2011

Last autumn, the BBC had an article titled “Are dying languages worth saving?” that includes a video.

The article provides pros and cons for revitalization, but the video is on the side of revitalization. Speaking in seven languages, people make the case with English subtitles to assist those people who are not septaglots (speaking seven languages).

The languages used are: