Posts Tagged ‘endangered languages’

Just two printed Gaelic words stop helicopters from operating

2 December 2015

Well, that’s the claim that Paul Kavanagh says that he found on Twitter.

He writes that the current government in the United Kingdom does not want to fund Scottish Gaelic (gla) broadcasting in Scotland. The article is here with further details.

Report to the Human Rights council on declining minority languages

11 May 2013

In a report by Rita Izsak to the United Nations Human Rights Council in April, she cited various historical and other factors that are causing a decline in minority languages.

International laws covering the rights to speak a minority language that she cited include:

Models she cited for standards are the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

She also noted that 19 out of approximately 20 languages spoken in Cambodia are endangered. (The Ethnologue gives 24 languages, of which 14 are endangered or dying.)

Read more on her report in “UN expert warns of decline in minority languages.”

Veps: At an educational and economic disadvantage

8 May 2013

You need to pass an English exam to get into the university and people are concerned that speaking Veps (vep) won’t help you land a job.

Like many endangered languages around the world, Veps is at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting speakers. Nevertheless, there is hope as young people find they enjoy the language and a Vepsian theater group has started up.

According to Wikipedia, Veps has 23 grammatical cases.

Read more at “I fear our language will die.”

Reviving Barngarla from 19th century dictionary

7 May 2013

Once spoken in South Australia, Barngarla (bjb) is making a comeback from written records and elders’ memories.

The awakening of the language is being led by the Chair of Endangered Languages at Adelaide University, Ghil’ad Zuckermann, who has vowed to make Adelaide a center of language revitalization.

The primary source for words is a dictionary written in the 1840s. Read more about the reawakening of Barngarla in “Pride and identity: Reviving Indigenous languages” and “Australia’s unspeakable indigenous tragedy.” Read about Ghil’ad Zuckermann in “Endangered languages have a new champion.”

Findings from Annatuinniniq Uqausittinik Conference

7 May 2013

The Annatuinniniq Uqausittinik Conference was held in Kangiqsujuaq, Canada, from 16 to 18 April.

Focused on Inuktitut (ike), the conference discussed the need for an action plan to save Inuktitut. There was also a youth panel discussion that revealed a generational gap, such as youth who want modern terminology and elders who have trouble understanding the English vocabulary and grammar that youth use when speaking Inuktitut.

Among the findings of the conference:

  • An Inuktitut language authority is needed,
  • More interactions between youth and elders are needed, and
  • More training is needed for teachers

See “Nunavik conference seeks action plan to save Inuktitut” for more details and the Avataq Cultural Institute Facebook page for Inuit culture and language.

Lexicon Valley talks about endangered languages

10 July 2012

In an episode of “Lexicon Valley” released yesterday, Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield tackle the subject of endangered languages.

Titled “Should We Care When a Language Dies?” the audio show includes parts of an interview with David Harrison, Director of Research at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. Harrison discusses the three areas of knowledge that are lost when a language dies: cultural, scientific and linguistic.

They also discuss the Endangered Languages Project recently launched as a Google project (see post on this blog).

Among the examples of endangered languages discussed are Urarina (ura), a language with the very rare structure OVS (object-verb-subject), and Bo or Aka-Bo (akm), which went silent two years ago.

Endangered Languages Project

22 June 2012

Google has teamed up with the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity to create the “Endangered Languages Project.” The Alliance includes groups and individuals interested in maintaining and revitalizing endangered languages, and has an invitation to others to join.

The ELP website includes forums for sharing information. Already, a range of videos and documents have been posted, and include information on how to plan a language documentation project and information about the Koasati Language Project.

This is a very exciting development. My thanks to Dave Sayers for the post on the Endangered Languages list that brought this to my attention.

The Center for Endangered Languages Documentation

2 June 2012

The Center for Endangered Languages Documentation, or CELD, is located in the Universitas Negeri Papua in Papua, the Indonesia part of New Guinea (the eastern portion is Papua New Guinea). With some 250 speech communities in Papua, CELD is dedicated to working with communities and document language, training linguists and providing support to individuals and agencies.

Two projects currently in progress are:

CELD was founded in 2009. One of its priority areas is the Yapen languages (family), which include Woi.

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:

English teacher writes a Jaqaru dictionary

14 May 2012

The On Location series by news company GlobalPost won a Peabody award in 2011.

Posted on 10 May, Alexander Houghton’s video “On Location: Peruvian Indigenous Group Fights to Save Their Dying Language”  highlights the situation of Jaqaru (jqr), a language spoken in Tupe and Catahuasi, Peru, not far from Lima.

With many Jaqaru moving to Lima and the recent arrival of television and mobile telephony, the language is quickly losing to Spanish. One of the people featured (her name is mentioned rapidly in the video) is a native speaker of Jaqaru who has written the only dictionary of her language, but even her own son speaks Spanish. Today, there are about 700 speakers of Jaqaru.

According to “M.J. Hardman — Noticias,” the Jaqaru alphabet was developed by MJ Hardman and Dimas Bautista Iturrizaga by 1961, and according to the video, it was officially accepted last year.