An effort is underway to save one of the oldest languages to have been spoken in the Boulder Valley. Its name is common in this community — with a slightly altered spelling — attached to a key east-west thoroughfare, as well as a peak that glistens with snow to the west in the Indian Peaks.. read more →

At the beginning of each semester, Lise Dobrin asks the undergraduates who take her Languages of the World class at the University of Virginia if they’ve ever heard or read about endangered languages. Fifteen years ago, only a few had; nowadays everyone raises a hand. Why the shift? Because the popular media has done so many stories.. read more →

Coming to the region at the start of the new year is a “nest” project focused on Inupiaq language revitalization. As KNOM’s Davis Hovey reports, a Nome-based non-profit organization called Inuusiq, Inc., which started up this year, is spearheading the project. “So, Inuusiq, Inc., was created by four young Inuit women. Myself, Iviilik, Hattie Keller; I’m the.. read more →

When a colleague’s tip led Jose Antonio Mazzotti, the King Felipe VI of Spain Professor of Spanish Culture and Civilization at Tufts, to a remote village in central Peru, most scholars believed that the ancient, undocumented language known as Iskonawa was nearly extinct, spoken only by a handful of people living in voluntary isolation on.. read more →

To the untutored ear, the Beijing dialect can sound like someone talking with a mouthful of marbles, inspiring numerous parodiesand viral videos. Its colorful vocabulary and distinctive pronunciation have inspired traditional performance arts such as cross-talk, a form of comic dialogue, and “kuaibanr,” storytelling accompanied by bamboo clappers. But the Beijing dialect is disappearing, a victim of language.. read more →

Like many hundreds of reporters, I went there recently. But not to cover the protests – rather, to ask the members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other Lakota tribes about the fate of their ancestral language. The Lakota language is a key component of Lakota culture. Like all other Native American tongues, it seems.. read more →

The last fluent speakers of the Myaamia — or Miami — language passed away during the mid-20thcentury, around the same time Native American linguist Daryl Baldwin was born. Today, thanks to the efforts of Baldwin, his family and other linguists and language preservationists, the Myaamia language is again taking its rightful place as a vibrant.. read more →

The first person to set foot on the continent of Australia was a woman named Warramurrungunji. As she moved across the landscape, Warramurrungunji told each child, “I am putting you here. This is the language you should talk! This is your language!” This myth, from the Iwaidja people of northwestern Australia, has more than a.. read more →

When you’re from a sovereign culture within a larger-looming cultural environment – as Native Americans living on and off reservations are – sometimes it’s hard to hold on to your language and mores. Children in particular feel the pull of Western things: language, clothes, toys, media and technology. For this reason, it’s especially important for.. read more →

One recurring assertion in the debates about refugees in Germany has been the demand that migrants have to be fluent in German in order to integrate into, and function within, the society. Standard or High German is what’s meant. But amidst the drive to get everyone who lives in Germany speaking “Hochdeutsch,” others are concerned with preserving.. read more →