Bob Burke, Marylhurst Irish instructor and vice-president of the North American Association for Celtic Language Teachers, will be at the language celebration. Read his blog entry on Irish at “Irish as an endangered language,” where he talks about a family receiving a stipend to raise their children in Irish and cites census statistics about Irish (gle) use in Ireland.
Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category
Today, Lilla Balázs held a seminar on the protection of minority languages in the EU, with a specific focus on Romania. According to the Ethnologue, Romania has 22 living languages, of which five are institutional, 15 are developing, one is vigorous and one is endangered.
See the announcement of the seminar, with a link to the abstract at “Minority Protection beyond EU Conditionality: The Implementation of Minority Language Provisions in the Case of Romania.”
Known traditionally in English as Wends, Lusatian Sorbs or Lusatian Serbs, the Sorbs are a people who live in in Lusatia, located in the east portion of Germany, west portion of Poland and north portion of the Czech Republic.
Among the approximately 60K Sorbs, about 25K speak one of the two Sorbian languages: Upper Sorbian (hsb) and Lower Sorbian (dsb). According to “Minority languages getting their voices heard,” the only Sorbian daily newspaper has launched an online version.
Titled “Serbske Nowiny,” the newspaper was originally founded in 1920 and revived in 1947 after a 10-year ban by the Nazi regime. It is not clear which Sorbian language the newspaper uses.
In 1981, the European Parliament adopted the Arfé Resolution, providing 100K ECUs (euros) to be used for minority and regional languages.1 Since then, the EU has become more and more active in promoting local language use. One ally in those efforts is the Mercator Network (founded in 1987) and its branch the Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning.
The Mercator European Research Centre’s “expert in the spotlight” for 2011 is Jeroen Darquennes, an associate professor at the University of Namur in Belgium. In the late 1990s, he did his PhD on German language revitalization in Belgium. Today, he is co-preparing his third volume of the Sociolinguista series and a few years back co-founded the research group Groupe de recherche sur le Plurilinguisme (Pluri-ll).
Read the interview with Darquennes at “Expert in the Spotlight in 2011: Jeroen Darquennes” on the Mercator European Research Centre website.
1. O’Reilly, Camille. Language, Ethnicity and the State: Minority Languages in the European Union, vol. 1, p. 24. Palgrave Macmillan: 2001.