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Friday, November 27, 2015

Saving Dying Languages

The top 10 languages in the world claim around half of the world's population. Source:

Languages: Why We Must Save Dying Tongues

Hundreds of our languages are teetering on the brink of extinction, and as Rachel Nuwer discovers, we may lose more than just words if we allow them to die out.

Rachel Nuwer | June 6, 2014

Tom Belt, a native of Oklahoma, didn’t encounter the English language until he began kindergarten. In his home, conversations took place in Cherokee.
Belt grew up riding horses, and after college bounced around the country doing the rodeo circuit. Eventually, he wound up in North Carolina in pursuit of a woman he met at school 20 years earlier. “All those years ago, she said the thing that attracted her to me was that I was the youngest Cherokee she’d ever met who could speak Cherokee,” he says. “I bought a roundtrip ticket to visit her, but I never used the other end of the ticket.”
The couple married. Yet his wife – also Cherokee – did not speak the language. He soon realised that he was a minority among his own people. [...]

<more at; related links: (The Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages) and (Disappearing Languages. Enduring Voices -- Documenting the planet's endangered languages)>

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