Archive for the ‘Welsh (cym)’ Category

Opinion: Why does the Māori language struggle continue?

16 April 2011

The Māori of New Zealand sparked the language revitalization movement around the world when they implemented a community-based education program to teach children to speak te reo or “the language” as Māori (mri) is often called.

The most well known part of their revitalization movement is the language nest, an early education component such as for kindergarten known as kōhanga reo (pūnana leo in Hawaiian). Immersion schools are known as kura kaupapa.

According to “Fight to save national taonga,” however, despite nearly three decades and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, the language has not taken full root. While some can speak the language and even Pākehā (non-Māori New Zealanders) have adopted words for everyday use, the language has failed to rise to a level of common use.

The author writes, “What Maori lacks, and what most minority languages lack, is this life-sustaining linguistic community, the sea of language in which speakers can happily swim at all times.”

The author notes that there is a similar situation in Wales, and it was only the need for a unifying language by Jews coming from many different countries the resulted in the success of Hebrew revitalization.

The opinion article was written in response to a Māori/English bilingual report titled “Te Reo Maurioraissued by Te Paepae Motuhake to Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Māori Development).

The recommendations of the report include:

  • Working toward a goal of 80% of Māori speaking Māori in the home by 2050
  • Funding for family- and community-oriented programs
  • Establishing Iwi Wānanga (tribal schools)
  • Establishing a position for a Māori-speaking minister
These items were selected from pages 45 and 49 of the report.

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:

XIV Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages

19 July 2010

The fourteenth conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, titled Reversing Language Shift: How to Re-awaken a Language Tradition, will be held at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, from September 13 to 15, 2010.

A range of topics are scheduled on the provisional program, including

  • the balance of prescriptionism and descriptionism in revitalization,
  • empowering young people
  • language planning, and
  • the accommodation of out-group people

In addition to Welsh and nearby Scottish Gaelic, languages whose situations will be discussed include Sioux (the Spirit Lake Tribe), Guernseyan languages, and tongues from Australia.

The early bird registration deadline is August 16.

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.

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.

Cymraeg (Welsh)

15 July 2006

With a rich history and a long battle against endangerment (including linguistic suppression), Cymraeg holds the key to a wealth of information and culture. A nice collection of links is stored at Gwybodiadur, which calls itself a “Welsh Informationary”. Links to resources both online and off include dictionaries, mailing lists, software and lessons.