Preserve the dying languages

Belt, along with countless other speakers of rare and endangered languages, is not ready to let his language fade into history — even if the journey toward revitalisation is an uphill one.

As the modern world encroaches, the language is in danger of being lost as Hadza make greater use of the widely spoken Swahili tongue.

Just because a language is written down, this does not mean it will survive. View image of Flags Thinkstock Credit: Belt volunteered to teach Cherokee lessons at a local school, for example, and eventually the tribe decided to create a language immersion school for children, where core classes —including science and math — are taught in Cherokee.

He soon realised that he was a minority among his own people. By the end of this century, many linguists estimate that over half of those 6, languages will be gone. The website also provides a tool for monitoring endangered languages. When Europeans first arrived there, aboriginal languages were spoken around the country.

Languages: Why we must save dying tongues

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on Future, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.

A language can also become associated with a lower social class. We live in an age where the interconnection of people groups and cultures is still just beginning. As an elder Preserve the dying languages Belt years ago: Their language — a clicking tongue, also called Hadza — is unique and Preserve the dying languages even to other clicking languages.

That makes preserving a language an even more important cause. Below are some ways you can learn more and help indigenous people protect their languages and traditional knowledge: Over the past fifty years, technology has allowed people to communicate across thousands of miles at the push of a button or a click of the mouse.

So he decided to do something about it. Thanks largely to the efforts of one interested member of the Miami Nation tribe, however, the language is now taught at Miami University in Ohio.

Linguists cannot say with certainty how many human languages are spoken today. Unlikely saviour Perhaps the most successful example is Hebrew, which was dead two centuries ago, before being revived and brought into the 20th century as a living language and the mother tongue of an entire generation of Israelis.

On the other hand, others classify the "eight dialects" of Chinese as "distinct languages," because, for example, Cantonese, Shanghainese and Mandarin do not share vocabulary and are mutually incomprehensible, even though they share a common orthography.

This was followed by US federal policies restricting the use of indigenous languages, including the removal of native children from their communities to federal boarding schools where native languages and cultural practices were prohibited.

One word — oo-kah-huh-sdee —represents the mouth-watering, cheek-pinching delight experienced when seeing an adorable baby or a kitten. How can we save dying languages? Undergraduate or graduate students in the U. Even some small islands, such as Vanuatu in the South Pacific, have fifteen or more endangered languages Vanuatu has 46, nearby New Caledonia That piece and its focus on extinction led to a discussion with my good friend and Russian language scholar Ben Rifkin about another serious extinction crisis: The Hadza bushmen, who live in groups of around 15 people, are believed to have been living in this remote area for at least 10, years, but there are now less than 1, Hadza left.

The Administration for Native Americans has published the "Reference Guide for Establishing Archives and Repositories," which explains why language repositories are vital to long-term language preservation efforts.

Without the language, the culture itself might teeter, or even disappear. In North America, European colonists brought death and destruction to many Native American communities. The influence of the media, as well as standardized language teaching in schools, also contribute to the host of dying languages.

Since language and culture is starting to evolve in a larger international community, it seems best for it to include everyone in the same community and not try to create redundancy and segregation. The languages can then be used more easily for text messages over mobile phones, for example. There are often many factors that endanger a language, and it is impossible to control each of these factors to ensure its survival.Language preservation is the effort to prevent languages from becoming unknown.

A language is at risk of being lost when it no longer is taught to younger generations, while fluent speakers of the language (usually the elderly) die.

Watch video · The archives have the equivalent of two miles of shelves of dictionaries, word lists, field notes, journals, manuscripts, correspondence, reports, maps, catalogue cards and printed memorabilia.

What you can do to help preserve the world’s endangered languages?

The histories, worldviews, and specialized, localized knowledge enveloped in these languages are being lost in favor of regional lingua francas – English in Europe and North America, Spanish in South America, French and Swahili in Africa. It’s difficult to grasp all that dies with a language.

An endangered language is one that is likely to become extinct in the near future.

Can we save the world’s dying languages?

Many languages are failing out of use and being replaced by others that are more widely used in the region or nation, such as English in the U.S. or Spanish in Mexico. It is very good that you are willing to help preserve a dying language. It is estimated that almost half of the currently spoken languages will likely vanish in next years.

Another group working to preserve indigenous languages is Endangered Languages, a project of the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity.

How to Save a Dying Language

Like UNESCO's Atlas of the World, Endangered Languages uses interactive technology to help organizations and activists working to preserve languages that are at risk of becoming extinct.

Download
Preserve the dying languages
Rated 3/5 based on 63 review