On a Mission to Save Languages From Extinction

NEW YORK—There are 800 different languages spoken among New York’s 8.5 million residents, and unfortunately, that number may be decreasing. One man is on a mission to make sure the city and the world don’t lose their linguistic diversity. The UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger states that 230 languages have died since [...]

By |2018-11-05T20:43:08+00:00November 5th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Languages, Wikitongues|0 Comments

More than 2,000 of the world’s languages are dying out

As a child, Kanako Uzawa treasured her school vacations, when she traveled from Tokyo to her family farm in Nibutani, a remote village in northern Japan. “There were rice fields extending into the distance,” she says. “It was all very green with fresh air… It was paradise for kids.” Uzawa, who was born in Tomakomai, [...]

By |2018-05-24T13:51:13+00:00May 24th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Languages|0 Comments

The Race to Save the World’s Disappearing Languages

On a residential block at the border between Brooklyn and Queens, Gottscheer Hall appears like a mirage from 1945. Blue awnings advertise the space for weddings and events. Inside, an entryway is covered with the saccharin smiles of “Miss Gottschee” contestants from decades past. “Back then you had to know the language to compete,” says [...]

By |2018-04-17T00:08:56+00:00April 17th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Wikitongues|0 Comments

Finding the Words for Hope: The Fight for Endangered Languages

“Iktsuarpok” is a word with no direct English translation. From Inuit, it best translates to “the frustration of waiting for someone to show up.” It is a word imbued with special meaning, and a word that may now be threatened. The Endangered Languages Project classifies the Inuit language as “vulnerable,” with only around 20,000 speakers. [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:27:09+00:00November 9th, 2017|Endangered Languages, Language|0 Comments

Educators Try New Methods to Save American Indian Languages

The United States is home to 562 federally recognized American Indian Nations, each with its own language. Yet the number of Native Americans with the ability to speak their tribe’s language has decreased over the past century. Now, Indian Nations are trying different ways to expand the number of native speakers, and increase interest in [...]

Carrying On His Great Grandfather’s Work, A Kansas Professor Helps Keep Their Language Alive

As a kid, Andrew McKenzie had an unusual affinity for languages. He took French in high school (because everyone else was taking Spanish). But that wasn't enough. "I started to teach myself different languages, like Latin and Greek and Basque and Turkish," he remembers. "I would drive into the city to a bookstore, and they’d [...]

Can translations save India’s endangered ‘mother tongues’?

In “Translation as Culture”, an article which theorises her work with Mahasweta Devi’s fiction, Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak writes of the irreducible emotional and ethical charge of translating from the mother tongue: “...translation in the narrow sense...is also a peculiar act of reparation – toward the language of the inside, a language in which we are [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:21:46+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Endangered Languages, India, Translation|0 Comments

Indigenous dictionary may save the Miriwoong language from extinction

Miriwoong is considered critically endangered — on the brink of completely disappearing — but a group in the remote Kimberley is making sure that does not happen. The first official Miriwoong dictionary has been published by Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring (MDWg), a small language and cultural centre in Kununurra. "It's the language of the land and [...]

Inventor of Kryptonian aims to revitalize endangered languages

UBC-O’s Dr. Christine Schreyer — an associate professor teaching anthropology and linguistics — went to Krypton. At least, as close any of us will ever get. In 2011, Warner Brothers approached Schreyer to develop the Kryptonian language for Man of Steel. Schreyer began her journey quite young — she has wanted to be an anthropologist [...]

By |2017-08-26T15:31:51+00:00August 26th, 2017|Endangered Languages, Language|0 Comments

Why Do We Need To Save Dying Languages?

Languages Around The World While it may seem like only a handful of languages are used around the world, the reality is that a vast number are spoken by people in different countries and cultures. In fact, linguists suggest that around 6,500 languages are currently used for daily communication needs. Many of these are not [...]