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Category: Endangered

  • Apr 23, 2012
  • 05:56 PM

What does cheese have to do with preserving languages? (audio)

Radio Australia
The importance to preserve languages is the topic of discussion in this week's social segment with community linguist Vaso Elefsiniotis, Dr Simon Musgrave from the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University and the Chair of Endangered Languages from the University of Adelaide, Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann.
  • Apr 23, 2012
  • 05:02 PM

Coushatta Tribe strives to revive native language (video)

Holly Carter / KPLC
The Koasati language of the Coushatta Indians has been a part of their culture for decades. But in recent years, it's disappeared, dissolved, English now the popular language on the reservation. Tribal leaders are trying to change that through new language classes that are aimed at preserving Koasati.
  • Apr 22, 2012
  • 06:34 PM

Languages: The Digital Sounds of Bésiro (Chiquitano) (audio)

Eddie Avila / Global Voices Online the city of Santa Cruz, a group of young linguists led by Ignacio Tomicha Chuve, has started a project called Monkox Bésiro as a way to put the Bésiro (Chiquitano) language on the digital map. This language is spoken the Chiquitano people in several provinces in the Santa Cruz and Bení departments with estimates that between 20,000-60,000 speakers still remain.
  • Apr 22, 2012
  • 05:28 PM

Language shoots are still growing

Alice Te Puni / Gisborne Herald
IT was school holidays across the nation but, in Gisborne, free te reo Maori classes enticed intermediate-level speakers back into the classroom. About two dozen students attended the four-day wananga called Te Kawae Hue, which means “young shoot still growing”.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 06:36 PM

The literary festival breathing life into the Welsh language

Daily Mail
History has tried hard to consign the Welsh language to the linguistic scrapheap. But the launch of Dinefwr Literature Festival packs another punch in the ancient tongue's fightback. The first-ever bilingual Welsh festival will be held over three days from June 29 to July 1 at the National Trust’s rather lovely Dinefwr Park and Castle, in the heart of the Carmarthenshire countryside.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 02:41 AM

Selling Russian to the Russians

Kanstantsin Lashkevich / Belarus Digest
Belarusians have the weakest national self-identification in the former Soviet Union and its authoritarian ruler Aliaksandr Lukashenka is happy to pursue pro-Moscow cultural policy in exchange for cheap Russian gas and oil. The most recent manifestation of such policy was a letter from the presidential administration urging local authorities "not to allow artificial reduction of the use of the Russian language".
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 07:41 PM

Gaelic for toddlers plan welcomed

John O'Groat Journal
“I have no problem with this at all. I have never been against Gaelic – although I did oppose the bilingual Gaelic road signs,” Mr Flear told the Caithness Courier. “The perception in some quarters is that if you are against bilingual road signs then you are anti-Gaelic but that is not the case. I am pleased people want their children to be immersed in the Gaelic language.”
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 06:09 PM

Graduate students in linguistics leaving legacy for speakers of endangered and quirky language of Garifuna

Kathleen Maclay / UC Berkeley
Garifuna hasn’t been studied extensively, and Michael said its quirkiness presents challenges. It features a vocabulary split between terms used only by men and terms that are marked for common use, and used by women, children and men. But the split doesn’t affect the entire vocabulary, and the terms used by men tend to come from the Carib language influence while the common forms are largely from Arawak.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:18 AM

Saving the native tongues of Australia (video)

Al Jazeera
In Australia, only a handful of hundreds of indigenous languages have managed to survive following decades of European colonisation that heavily suppressed the native ways of life. But many of the country's indigenous groups are struggling to save their languages and preserve their cultures in the process.
  • Apr 17, 2012
  • 05:07 PM

New wellness center hosts first Pomo language workshop

Lake County News
“Several outside factors have contributed to the historical loss of language within Pomo communities,” Lim said. “The vitality of many indigenous languages was destroyed by federal policies that targeted Native peoples and cultures for extermination. The loss of tribal lands, and genocide of whole communities, disrupted the continuity of native languages and cultures.”
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 04:42 PM

Western Armenian Is Nearing Extinction

Arda Jebejian / The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
The recent well-justified alarm that western Armenian is among the world’s thousands of endangered languages (that is, predicted to die in the next 100 years), important though it is, is not enough. What this language, culture and people need is the development of therapeutic undertakings and approaches.
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 04:37 PM

Labour pulps 5,000 Cardiff council election leaflets criticising Welsh language

Labour has pulped 5,000 copies of a Cardiff council election leaflet because it contains a resident’s comment that they “can’t apply for most jobs in Wales because you need to speak Welsh”. Last night an angry row erupted between Plaid Cymru and Labour, with Plaid’s deputy council leader Neil McEvoy accusing Labour of seeking to inflame the language issue.
  • Apr 16, 2012
  • 04:11 PM

Helping to maintain Mi'Kmaw culture

Clayton Hunt / The Coaster
"I was seeing a break in the connection between the home, parents and their children in learning the language, so I wanted to find a way to bridge that gap," Christmas said. "I wanted to make that connection between the children learning the language and sharing the language with the parents without putting any stress on them as adults have difficulty with the language themselves.
  • Apr 14, 2012
  • 09:00 PM

Fighting to keep Mohawk language alive

Steve Bonspiel / The Gazette
The Mohawk language, which is called Kanien'kéha, has been in trouble for a long time. It is still spoken among elders, but a number of factors play into the dire situation it's in today - not just in Kahnawake, but in all Mohawk communities. It's estimated only 3,000 people in the world speak Mohawk fluently.
  • Apr 14, 2012
  • 01:53 PM

Ni Riada is Sinn Fein's Irish language officer

Joe Leogue / The Corkman
Party leader Gerry Adams TD said that the appointment of Liadh Ní Riada, daughter of famous composer Seán O Riada, was proof that the party "was committed to the revival of the language" and that he was looking forward to seeing the positive results of her work.
  • Apr 13, 2012
  • 10:40 PM

Under Threat of Extinction

Victor Ugborgu / Newswatch
In Nigeria of the three major languages of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, the most endangered are the last two. Newswatch investigation revealed that, despite the fact that; Igbo and Yoruba are being promoted in schools, colleges and universities, not all parents and guardians from these ethnic groups consciously make enough efforts to teach their children or wards their mother tongues at home.
  • Apr 13, 2012
  • 06:12 PM

Legislature approves council on Native Languages

Coshocton Tribune
JUNEAU, Alaska (WTW) — Lawmakers have passed a plan creating a state-backed council aimed at revitalizing Alaska Native languages. SB130 was approved unanimously by the House on Thursday. Also Thursday, the Senate, which passed a version of the bill in March, agreed to changes made by the House.
  • Apr 13, 2012
  • 03:53 PM

Rare language also under threat in Straits of Hormuz

AFP - Home to 4,000 people and overlooking the strategic Straits of Hormuz that Iran has threatened to close, Kumzar village has a thousand year-old language of its own that no one else on earth understands.
  • Apr 12, 2012
  • 01:23 AM

Twitter Gets Help from SLU Prof on How to Deal With Indigenous Tweeters

Nicholas Phillips / Riverfront Times
If you're one of the five remaining speakers of "Yuchi" -- a near-extinct Native American language in Oklahoma -- your tweets will look insane, even to those within your linguistic group. That's because whenever you type in the "@" character, which is a part of your alphabet, Twitter will (wrongly) think you're trying to refer to a different user, such as @Joe_Smith.
  • Apr 11, 2012
  • 03:54 PM

Donegal's radio pioneer celebrates historic anniversary

Michelle Nic Phaidin / Donegal Democrat
The boundaries of the Gaeltacht dictate that the rich linguistic qualities of Irish in each region differ from that of the other, affiliated with the different streams of language that has evolved over hundreds of years is a difficulty for one region to understand that of another. According to Timlín, Raidió na Gaeltachta has played a vital part in dulling the linguistic boundaries and differences between each dialect and helps each region understand another enhancing a common understanding to a rich, complex language.
  • Apr 11, 2012
  • 03:52 PM

Volunteers needed: Hawaiian typing project (video)

Teri Okita / Hawaii News Now
The ‘Ike ku'oko'a project aims to transfer dozens of historic, Hawaiian-language newspapers onto a computer database. Volunteers type the articles, verbatim, onto a special program created specifically for the project. Linguist Dion Poche is one of 3,500 volunteers. She says, "It's necessary, and I regret that it's being done so late in the game. I wish that this had been done ages ago, decades ago."
  • Apr 11, 2012
  • 02:45 AM

Living Tongues: Endangered Language Technology Kits To The Rescue (video)

Rezwan / Global Voices Online
A typical Language Technology Kit (LTK), which will enable the activists to record their languages, consists of a laptop computer, a handheld digital audio recorder, a still digital camera and a portable video camera. The activists will also receive training and mentoring from media specialists.
  • Apr 11, 2012
  • 02:42 AM

Hishuk Ish Tsawalk: Everything is One

Anna Luisa Daigneault / The Dominion
Kathy Robinson is a language warrior. At the age of 81, she is one of the last two fluent native speakers of Tseshaht (pronounced “tsi-sha-aht”), a language once popularly spoken on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Tseshaht is not the only language Indigenous to Canada that is at risk of disappearing.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 11:05 PM

Call to protect dying Indigenous languages (audio)

Nance Haxton / ABC Online
Linguists say there is a critical need to preserve Indigenous Australian languages that are in danger of dying out. Research shows that up to 90 per cent of the world's 7,000 languages could be lost by the end of the century. Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, only 20 from of an original 250 are still widely spoken.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 10:43 PM

Bursary supports Gaelic-language education in Scotland

Halifax News Net
Nova Scotians interested in improving their understanding and use of the Gaelic language will be able to further their study with a new bursary program funded by the government of Scotland and administered by Gaelic Affairs.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 05:35 PM

Members united as language group marks anniversary

This is South Wales
Since 1998, Menter Cwm Gwendraeth has been working strategically on the basis of the Welsh Assembly and Carmarthenshire Council's community planning framework, by ensuring the Welsh language is instrumental in the development of every project.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 03:36 PM

Australian linguicide - Des Crump (audio)

Peter Gooch / ABC Online
It's not a record to be proud of, but Australia appears to be world champions at linguicide - the killing of languages. Out of an estimated 250 spoken by indigenous people only 20 are now in common usage. Linguistics professor GHIL'AD ZUCKERMANN is urging Australians to join a global movement designed to revive endangered tongues....
  • Apr 09, 2012
  • 12:03 AM

'Welsh is a wonderful gift': speakers of the language relish new support

Steven Morris / The Guardian
In her first speech as commissioner, Meri Huws spoke of her vision of a Wales where speakers had the confidence to use the language and trust in the law to rectify any prejudice. Her initial focus will be to make sure that the Welsh government and public bodies fulfil their obligations to offer services both in English and Welsh.
  • Apr 08, 2012
  • 08:44 PM

Declan Lynch: Overwhelmingly, we Irish prefer the lie

Declan Lynch / Irish Independent
In the recent census, 1.77 million people said that they were able to speak the Irish language. I have written that sentence four times, no doubt bringing back happy memories of your schooldays, but mainly to ensure that the magnitude of the statement is fully absorbed. Because this is not just a lie. All official statements pertaining to the Irish language are to some extent a lie, but it is the extraordinary size of the lie in this case which requires special attention.
  • Apr 08, 2012
  • 04:58 PM

Why Should We Keep Tribal Languages Alive?

Sonny Skyhawk / Indian Country Today Media
I canʼt stress enough the importance of retaining our tribal languages, when it comes to the core relevance or existence of our people. Our languages can teach us many things through daily use. Language can teach us respect, for ourselves and each other, our elders, women and most importantly, the things that allowed us to exist.