How New Indigenous Languages Are Changing Australia

Before European colonization, as many as 300 languages were spoken on continental Australia, reflecting the cultural diversity among its original inhabitants. Today, only about 40 to 60 of these languages remain, with more than half of them no longer learned by any children. Yet the dynamic nature of language is giving some indigenous groups and [...]

By |2020-02-04T14:32:53+00:00February 4th, 2020|Australia, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Can This Indigenous Language Thrive in a Digital Age?

On any given day, people throng the busy market in Concepción, Paraguay. Shoppers peruse the multicolored array of fruits and vegetables and occasionally pause to chat with the vendors or inquire about a price. Old women eye up potential buyers of yuyos, traditional medicinal herbs that they assure will cure any ailment, from hangovers to [...]

By |2020-01-30T19:10:14+00:00January 30th, 2020|Guaraní language, Indigenous languages, Paraguay|0 Comments

‘A way to keep our language alive’: How the Atikamekw Nation uses Wikipedia to promote its language

What started out as a high school computer science project has grown into the only active Wikipedia in Canada operating in an Indigenous language. Wikipetcia Atikamekw Nehiromowin includes over 1,000 articles, sound clips and photos representing life, history and culture of the three Atikamekw communities in Quebec. "They cover common words, the cities of Quebec, [...]

By |2019-12-11T15:07:51+00:00December 11th, 2019|Atikamekw, Canada, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Smartphone keyboards designed for traditional languages at cutting edge of their survival

An international software firm developing smartphone keyboards specifically designed to write in traditional languages is helping people protect their language. The project, called Keyman, allows people to type in one of more than 600 different languages, most of which are majority languages. A majority language is one spoken by large groups of people such as [...]

By |2019-10-25T14:01:53+00:00October 25th, 2019|Indigenous languages, Smart phone, Technology|0 Comments

Reclaiming a culture: How Indiana University is helping an indigenous community restore its endangered language

More than 2,000 hours of audio and video field recordings of vocabulary, interviews and storytelling from indigenous people reside in the collection of the American Indian Studies Research Institute at Indiana University. Now, some of these recordings are being put to use to help one indigenous community reclaim its endangered language and culture. The institute [...]

By |2019-10-12T14:51:07+00:00October 12th, 2019|Endangered Languages, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Indigenous Languages Are in Danger of Going Extinct Around the World

Seven thousand indigenous languages are spoken around the world today, and four in 10 of them are in danger of going extinct, a recent United Nations study warned. After its release in August, U.N. experts called for a series of steps, including new laws and international commitments, to reverse what they described as the “historic [...]

By |2019-10-05T13:29:00+00:00October 5th, 2019|Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Indigenous language puzzle receives missing piece after freak find buried in old book

Caroline Hughes, who researches the Ngunnawal language of the Canberra region, made the find during a workshop last week. The words, buried in a book held in Adelaide, were drawn to her attention by a relative she met while tracing her family history. "She mentioned to me in an email last week that she'd found [...]

By |2019-09-17T14:09:05+00:00September 17th, 2019|Australia, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Revitalizing Indigenous Languages Is Critical

Being fluent in a world language is a desirable skill in modern day society. However, some languages are suffering and in danger of extinction — namely those of the indigenous peoples. “There are between 6,000 and 7,000 world languages in the world today,” Brian Keane, rapporteur of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said in [...]

Indigenous Women Are Publishing the First Maya Works in Over 400 Years

I’D STUMBLED UPON TALLER LEÑATEROS—the “Woodlanders Workshop”—completely by chance. I was walking aimlessly through the pastel-hued streets of San Cristobal de las Casas, trying to get a feel for what my guidebook had described as southern Mexico’s “most beautiful colonial city.” One particular street was quiet, dusty, and less colorful than the rest. But there [...]

By |2019-08-21T16:18:18+00:00August 21st, 2019|Indigenous languages, Mayan script, Mexico|0 Comments

In 21st century, threats ‘from all sides’ for Latin America’s original languages

At school in Tecate in the 1950s, a city sitting on Mexico’s border with the United States, Josefina Meza was welcomed by a chorus of children’s chants in a language she did not understand. “Pinches indios, pinches indios,” her peers called out. At first, Meza thought they wanted to be her friends. But her brother [...]

By |2019-07-29T13:01:06+00:00July 29th, 2019|Indigenous languages, Latin America|0 Comments