Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Renata Flores sings pop music in Quechua

18 August 2015

Renata Flores Rivera sings Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the Animals’s “The House of the Rising Sun” in Quechua (que):


Also, see her YouTube page at Renata Flores Rivera and subscribe.

Texting and rapping in endangered languages

2 July 2011

According to “Hip-hop, texting may help save world’s languages” on the Miami Herald website, teenagers who love to send text messages by mobile phone are doing so in endangered languages, giving renewed hope for revitalization. Languages cited include:

    • San Francisco del Mar Huave (hue)
    • San Mateo del Mar Huave (huv)
    • San Dionisio del Mar Huave (hve)
    • Santa María del Mar Huave (hvv)

In addition, hip-hop music has become a vehicle for expression in endangered languages, including:

See “Huilliche hip-hop song 1” and “hip-hop in Aka – Songe Nimasow” on the Enduring Voices channel of YouTube for two rap songs.

Ojibwe rap on language revitalization

24 June 2011

This blog will be on hiatus for another two weeks or so. In the meantime, here is a rap “Prayers in a Song” by Point of Contact on language revitalization, including two portions in Ojibwe:

Charmorro CDs for sale

22 April 2011

To the east of the Philippines lie the Mariana Islands, the southernmost of which is Guam, a territory of the US. The language of the Marianas is Chamorro (cha), but it is being replaced by English. According to Wikipedia, there are about 47,000 speakers of Chamorro. The language is taught at the University of Guam, which even holds a Chamoru Language Competition.

In 2007, mainland US resident and Guam-born Rose Topasna Howard recorded songs in Chamorro and purchased 500 copies of the CD. Said to have a soothing voice, her songs became popular in Guam, reaching the number one spot in Guam in 2010.

See “Port Orchard woman’s music a hit in Guam” for more information, including instructions on how to order a copy of “Metgot Na Sinente” and an interview of Howard.

To learn Chamorro, see “Chamorro Dictionary” and “Dictionary and Grammar of the Chamorro Language of the Island of Guam.”

Top ten moments for Australian and Torres Strait languages

18 April 2011

Crikey is an Australian website with a variety of political, sports, arts and other news. They also have about 20 blogs, one of which is Fully [sic], an Australian linguistics blog that has been running for about 13 months.

Today’s post is a top 10 list of sorts, a collection of times when Australian Indigenous languages have hit it big. Entries include “Treaty,” a song including words from a Yolŋu Matha language (family), and a newspaper article on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald written in Gumbaynggirr (kgs). Another prominent item is the use of Kala Lagaw Ya (mwp) in Qantas Airways advertisements.

There is a host of information here with great links. Be sure to keep reading till the end: Number nine is the IAD Press, which has dictionaries and guidebooks for a variety of languages, including Pitjantjatjara (pjt), Walpiri (wbp) and  Warumungu (wrm). And after number 10, there are even honorable mentions.

Hip hop Musqueam performer in the news

2 April 2011

Crunch, or Christie Lee Charles as she’s known off-stage, speaks hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur) spoken by the Musqueam Indian Band in British Columbia, Canada. She learned the language from her great-uncle and in high school from the First Nations Languages Program.

Crunch has taken her heritage language in a new direction, developing and performing rap. She performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, at the Utopia Festival at Storyeum for International Women’s Day last month, and at other venues such as a Kelowna talent show.

According to “First Nations Female Artists,” she began performing the language in hip hop after obtaining permission from elders. Christie Lee Charles is also featured in “Young mom performs hip hop in Musqueam dialect,” on the CTV News site.

Gullah-Geechee Conference on Saturday

31 March 2011

Gullah (gul), or Geechee as the language is known to insiders, is spoken by about 250,000 people on the East Coast of the US from the Carolinas to Florida. The language is a creole, based primarily on English with contributions from Akan, Bambara, Ewe, Fula, Hausa, Igbo, Kimbundu, Kongo, Mandinka, Mende, Umbundu, Vai, Wolof and Yoruba (all of which appear to have large speaking populations).

Cape Fear Community College is hosting a conference on Saturday, April 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Wilmington, North Carolina, US. The topic of the conference is the future of the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

The Gullah people are an African-American population with a unique culture within the United States. Many Americans are familiar with the Brer Rabbit (Brer = Brother) stories about a trickster rabbit, an oral tradition of the Gullahs.

The Gullah people are working to maintain their culture, including their language. In 2005, a New Testament was completed in Gullah after 20 years of work.

YouTube has a video by Richard Green on Ultimate Gullah, a store and cultural center in South Carolina. Gullah/Geechee Nation is one of the pages on Facebook focused on Gullah culture.

A glossary of some Gullah words can be found at “A Glossary of Gullah Wordstaken from The Black Border by Ambrose E. Gonzales” and the full text of the book at “The black border; Gullah stories of the Carolina coast.” Gullah songs can be found at Gullah. The movie “Conrack” about a white schoolteacher who gets a job on an island teaching African-American children is a true story that took place in a Gullah community. Many other books and movies are also available.

A Revival of Ladino

4 March 2011

During the Diaspora, one of the places Jews settled in was Spain. Mixing their Hebrew tradition with Spanish, the Sephardi (Spanish) Jews developed the Ladino (lad) language or Judaeo-Spanish. When they were exiled from Spain in 1492, they spread out again, and Ladino incorporated elements of Turkish, Greek and other languages.

According to the Ethnologue, there are some 110,000 speakers, about 90 percent of which live in Israel, most of the rest residing in Turkey. Wikipedia notes that the language is endangered as many Jews who moved to Israel did not pass the language along.

Aviya Kushner gives a nice overview of Ladino in her article “Is the language of Sephardic Jews, undergoing a revival?” on the site My Jewish Learning. Among the many things she discusses is the production of plays in Ladino and class offerings in New York and elsewhere.

For music, check out Yasmin Levy. Daughter to the head of the Ladino department at Israel’s national radio station, she is well recognized for her talents and efforts in maintaining the rich Ladino culture.

This post was inspired by “Yasmin Levy: Keeping An Ancient Language Alive Through Song,” a post on the Radio Boston website.

News in Brief: Language Surveys, Australia and the Torres Strait Languages, Yiddish Documentation

3 March 2011

A survey project is implementing two surveys on endangered languages, one concerning language and technology, the other about everyday use. The project appears to be a collaboration between professors at the Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne and the Universidad de Puerto Rico. According to the initial page, the survey will be kept online indefinitely, with the results added to a website.

David Nathan has a site filled with resources for the languages of Australia and Torres Strait. Although some links are outdated, one leads to the AusAnthrop Australian Aboriginal tribal database, which is filled with information, including alternative names for peoples of Australia. Another leads to the Federation of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Languages & Culture, with lots of information and resources. Another link leads to music in Gumatj (gnn) on the Yothu Yindi website. Lots to explore here!

In addition to many other materials, EYDES or Evidence of Yiddish (yid) Documented in European Societies has a collection of some 6000 hours of tape recordings as part of their Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. The project also has a Yiddish course (taught in German).

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.