Archive for the ‘Saami (Sámi)’ Category

Videos for eight languages on Gadling

18 May 2012

Gadling, which bills itself as the “world’s top travel blog,” published a post today on eight seldom-heard languages. Each has a YouTube video to watch.

The languages include:

Indigenous Language Tweets – Web 2.0 Communication

21 March 2011

In July 2006, Twitter launched its short message service (SMS), allowing people to create an account and send short messages that are transmitted to mobile phones and displayed on the Twitter site.

Celebrities, for example, send out short messages or tweets announcing their daily and special doings. Political organizations and environmental groups send out updates, and sports teams send out the latest on their players. At Twitter, a short message is known as a “tweet.”

This sort of information-sharing technology is sometimes referred to as Web 2.0, to indicate it is a step beyond the conventional Internet technologies of web pages and e-mail.

While Twitter is currently crowdsourcing (asking for volunteers) to translate its page to other languages, currently the interface is available in English and seven other major languages, and the tweets are overwhelmingly in such major languages.

People seeking information updates on a topic can go to the Twitter site and search for keywords to find someone who tweets on a subject they like. It can be difficult, however, to find tweets in lesser-used languages.

To address this issue, Kevin Scannell has set up Indigenous Tweets as a place to find people who tweet in your language. The home page shows the languages tracked—currently 39, up from the initial 35—as well as other information such as how many users tweet in each language and how many  tweets have been sent out.

To use Indigenous Tweets, click on a language to see the top tweeters in that language (up to 500), then click on a tweeter to go to Twitter.com and see that person’s tweet feed. From there, you can sign up to the feed if interested. Both Twitter and Indigenous Tweets are free services.

As a companion to Indigenous Tweets, Scannell has set up a blog with the same name, Indigenous Tweets (though at a different address).

Quick facts:

  • The total number of tweets tracked so far in the 39 languages offered on Indigenous Tweets exceeds 1.2 million.
  • The top volume language is Kreyòl Ayisyen or Haitian Creole (hat) at nearly 315,000 tweets.
  • Although less in volume, Euskara or Basque (eus) has more tweeters than any other language at 2069.
  • Among the languages on Indigenous Tweets is Cornish (kew), a language that fell asleep in England in the eighteenth century and began to be revived at the beginning of the twentieth. It now has L1 or native speakers.
  • Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwe (oji) is represented with 15 tweeters and Sámegiella or Sami (family) with 58.

Immersion Schools and Identity

11 March 2011

Two references on immersion schools, one from last fall and the other from 2008.

The Heritage Language Journal‘s fall 2010 edition has a special theme of identity. The articles are available free of charge online. Of the articles, at least two bear directly on endangered languages:

The other is “Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages?Policy and Practice on Four Continents,” edited by Nancy H. Hornberger. Published in hardback in 2008 and paperback last fall, this book looks at four cases of language revitalization around the world. Coverage includes of the communities where Māori (mri), Sámi (family), Hñähñö or Otomi (family), and various Latin American languages are spoken.

The book can be purchased from Palgrave for GBP 55.00 hardback or 19.99 paperback, and from Macmillan for USD 85.00 hardback. The book is reviewed in volume 31, issue 2 of “Applied Linguistics.” An excerpt of the review is available on their site, or the article can be accessed for one day for USD 25.

Table of Contents from the Macmillan page:

  • Introduction— by N.H. Hornberger
  • Out on the fells, I feel like a Sámi – Is There Linguistic and Cultural Quality in the Sámi School? — by V. Hirvonen
  • Different or Equal? Policy and Indigenous Perspectives on Bilingual Intercultural Education in Latin America — by L.E. Lopez
  • Maori-Medium Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Current Issues and Challenges — by S. May & R. Hill
  • Learning with Differences: Strengthening Hñähñö and Bilingual Teaching in an Elementary School in Mexico — by N.R. Recendiz
  • Commentary from a Saami and International Perspective — by L. Huss
  • Commentary from an African and International Perspective — by N.M. Kamwangamalu
  • Commentary from a Native American and International Perspective — by T.L. McCarty
  • Conclusion: Commentary from a Maori and International Perspective — by B. Spolsky

This blog entry inspired by Indigenous School Based Projects, an article by Gina Putt on eHow.com that highlights five programs.

Notes on Sámi

16 September 2006

An endangered Finno-Ugric language, positive steps are being taken to promote this group of languages..

Sámi (or Saami) is a group of languages, evidently mutually unintelligible. See the Ethnologue entry for a classification breakdown.

The Sámi have lived in arctic Europe for thousands of years. Recalling learning about the Lapps of Lapland in elementary school, I was surprised to learn that “Lapp” is generally considered derogatory by the Sámi (Lapps) themselves, though the word Lapland appears to be acceptable as a geographical term. (more…)

Microsoft has Quechua but Still Lacks Some Unicode

24 August 2006

The Associated Press announced the Bolivian launch of Quechuan software by Microsoft today. The article notes that the word used for file is “quipu,” “borrowing the name of an ancient Incan practice of recording information in an intricate system of knotted strings.” Both Microsoft Windows and Office offer Quechua. Other languages supported include several varieties of Sami as well as Welsh, Māori and Xhosa.

Microsoft also released its nearly completed version of Internet Explorer 7, named Release Candidate 1. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t fully implement Unicode as can be seen by trying to read the June posts of this blog.