Stories etched in wax: Preservation project saves sounds of the past

Indiana University's Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative met a major milestone this summer by completing its wax cylinder digitization project. Wax cylinders are antiquated audio recordings made of thin brown or black wax. They can be easily damaged just by the heat from your hands, and dropping one could destroy it. IU Libraries’ Archives of [...]

By |2019-09-30T13:19:39+00:00September 30th, 2019|Digitization, Extinct languages, Wax cylinders|0 Comments

How to decipher a 4,000-year-old tax return

One day in 1994 Richard Salomon, professor of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, received a small package in the mail. Inside were a number of blurry black and white photographs and an accompanying letter from the British Library asking if they might be of any interest. Salomon started looking at the [...]

By |2018-02-18T16:22:42+00:00February 18th, 2018|Extinct languages, Language|0 Comments

An extinct language finds a new audience at Yale

A recent workshop on an extinct and very rarely studied language opened a “brand new door to fresh historical perspectives” for Yale graduate student Yuan Chen. Chen, who studies medieval Chinese history, participated in the Kitan Language Workshop, which presented her with a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to learn about the ancient language developed by the Kitan [...]

By |2016-10-04T20:57:17+00:00October 4th, 2016|Extinct languages, Kitan language, Languages|0 Comments

The silence of the last surviving Majhi-speakers

In truth, it has gone. Just a few easily remembered words, such as those for mother and father, and a prayer said for the souls of the dead. Other than that, Thak Majhi’s command of a language that was once inextricably linked to the culture of his people – so much so it shares their [...]

By |2016-07-26T20:15:57+00:00July 26th, 2016|Extinct languages, India, Majhi language|0 Comments

India is on the verge of losing about 300 Languages out of 800

Language forms an integral part of one’s culture. India has the distinction of accommodating 800 languages and dialects across the country, according to a research conducted by Bhasha Research Centre. Bhasha Research Centre is an NGO founded under the leadership of Dr G.N. Devy, winner of Sahitya Academy Award. The report of the survey was [...]