No BéarlaPlay video
This miniseries follows an Irish filmmaker who tries to go about daily life in Ireland without speaking English. Despite Irish being one of the official languages of the Republic of Ireland, a minority of people in Ireland are competent in it. I found it interesting that most people he interacted with seemed very confused as to why he would not just converse in English, especially when he was interacting with someone who didn't speak Irish. People in Ireland clearly do not expect there to be people who speak Irish who don't also speak English. I also find it interesting how Irish people refer to the language's situation. They talk about being competent in Irish as "having Irish", as in "I don't have any Irish".
How old English would have sounded likePlay video
A reconstruction of old English through a (fictional) interview with an anglo Saxon.
Sylbo, The Last Speakers of the Lost Whistling LanguagePlay video
a video about the language Sylbo on the island of La Gomera, of the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of north-west Africa. The Spanish government is attempting to preserve the whistling language which imitates the phonetic features of Spanish.
Languages affect how we physically perceive the world
A recent study has proposed that humans have different ways of perceiving the world around them depending on the language they speak. For example, when native English speakers were asked to describe the taste of bitter-flavored water, responses varied from "bitter, to salty, sour, not bad, plain, mint, like ear wax, medicinal, and so forth." Meanwhile, when Farsi speakers were asked to describe the same drink, it was nearly unanimously "talkh," the Farsi word for bitter. Some languages are more equipped in describing smells, for instance, than other languages -- and that affects how we, as users of language, perceive the world around us. [Published on 02-27-2019]
Poetry slams (Bertsolaritza) are helping reinvigorate the Basque language
The Basque Language Euskara, spoken in areas between France and Spain, has been pushed to the fringes of society over the course of the last century. The recent revival of Bertsolaritza, a Basque tradition of improvised song, has contributed to the increase in popularity of the language, both inside and outside the region. [Published on 02-14-2019]
The Revival of Ancient Babylonian Language
This article discusses how Dr Martin Worthington, a fellow of St John’s College, has created the world’s first film in the ancient Babylonian language with his Babylonian-speaking students dramatising a folk tale from a clay tablet from 701BC. Since 2000, he has been teaching himself to speak Babylonian and is currently creating a campaign to revive it as a spoken language. Babylonian has "extremely regular structures" and is semitic like the languages that replaced it; Hebrew and Arabic.
Ever wanted to watch Sailor Moon in Anishinaabemowin?
Inspired by dubbed versions of Sailor Moon in languages all around the world, Westin Sutherland, an Ojibwe 18 year-old from Canada, created a dubbed version of Sailor Moon in Anishinaabemowin and Cree, two indigenous languages of Canada. He believes that it gives young speakers confidence and pride in their language, and encourages young speakers (who are traditionally the weak link in linguistic transmission) to keep speaking indigenous languages. [Published on 08-12-2018]
Moana Reo Maori
This article discusses the immense popularity of the Maori dub of Moana, showed at 30 free theaters across New Zealand. Maori has historically been a highly stigmatized language in New Zealand, and many speakers of the boomer generation were discouraged from speaking Maori when they were younger. Much like Hungarian in the Gal (1978) paper dealing with a Hungarian/German bilingual community, Maori is in danger of extinction as younger speakers use it less and less to attain prestige through English. However, this film is part of an effort to give Maori covert and explicit prestige among younger speakers through its association with a cool, hip film.
Implementation of Hebrew as a Standard Language in pre-1948 Palestine
This article discusses the revernacularization of Hebrew into a standard language in Palestine, and then gives examples of how political and interest groups carried out this implementation at a local level through an examination of the 1930s and 1940s city documents of a small Jewish settlement, Raanana. [Published on 01-01-2008]
Can Facebook save endangered languages?
This article shows Facebook's attempts of saving endangered languages. Facebook is adding the option of many endangered languages, such as Corsican, to make the world more connected. Many endangered languages are not available digitally. With these efforts, users have the option of selecting their language as opposed to a more "mainstream" language. This allows endangered languages to cross the digital divide and allow it to be more available.
Mandana Seyfeddinipur's TED Talk on Endangered LanguagesPlay video
This is a TED Talk video of Mandana Seyfeddinipur, a linguist and the director of the Endangered Lanuages Documentation Programme at SOAS University of London, sharing her perspective on endangered languages. Seyfeddinipur shares how globalization, climate change, urbanization and political unrest are causing the extinction of languages at a rate equivalent to the loss of biological diversity during the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. She also emphasizes how such change can negatively impacts cultural diversity and decreases social resilience.
4 Reasons to Learn A New Language
There is a video which linguist and Columbia professor John McWhorter shares four reasons to learn a new language. Nowadays, increasingly people focus on learning English, the diversity of languages is slowly disappearing. The first reason is culture which language is always associated with it. Also, multilingual people less likely to have dementia than people who only use one language. Moreover, it is interesting for us to learn diverse language. The last but not least, we live such a convenient age which it is easier to learn any languages than before.
"A Mother", from Dubliners, p.117-8
"When the Irish Revival began to be appreciable Mrs. Kearney determined to take advantage of her daughter's name [Kathleen] and brought an Irish teacher to the house... Soon the name of Miss Kathleen Kearney began to be heard often on people's lips. People said she was very clever at music and a very nice girl, and, moreover, that she was a believer in the language movement" (Joyce, 117-118 Norton Critical Edition). Here we see an interesting example of a language revival movement acting as a marker of social status, and even marriage eligibility for middle and upper-middle class Dubliners. While the Irish language doesn't hold prestige as the language of the state (Ireland is part of the U.K. at the time of "Dubliners"), it acts as a marker of in-group cultural identity and national pride for those able to study it - the lower and working class people of Dublin have no such opportunity (c.f. Ulysses, Joyce, 12-13). The daughter's name, "Kathleen", is another fashionable index for Irishness after the protagonist of a 1902 play by Yeats (footnote in text).
Paw Paw FrenchPlay video
This video is about a French dialect that is spoken in Old Mines, Missouri. It is said to be one of the oldest dialects of French that was formed in the United States called “Paw Paw French”. The dialect takes from Cajun, American Indian and the Canadian French Language that was made by early French settlers in the 1700’s. It is an endangered dialect that some of the residents of the town are trying to keep alive.
Berenstain Bears Reconnect Sioux To Native Language
Berenstain Bears cartoons help teach and revive the Lakota language. [Published on 09-26-2006]
How to understand the differences between British and American EnglishPlay video
The video does a great job at comparing words and the differences in meanings they can portray whether being interpreted from someone from the U.S OR U.K. It shows the power of the interpretation of language and how it can cause an interaction to be positive or negative. It shows the importance of linguistic relativity and the social context individuals are a part of.
Cherokee Look for Ways to Save Their Dying Language
This article depicts the perception of Cherokee as a "dying language", and how the remaining speakers are trying to bring it back to life. [Published on 02-29-2016]
Shakespeare: Original pronunciationPlay video
A demonstration and explanation about what Shakespeare would have sounded like with its original pronunciation (Early Modern English). [[Something else that I would like to point out is how its "unexpected" good reception with the modern audience could have to do with their preconceived notions and therefore encouraged them to actually try to understand what was being said (taking it back to our discussion on accents).]]
Language Crisis: The American Indian Reality
Walt Wolfram's article in the Huffington Post profiling language revitalization efforts for the Cherokee language in North Carolina. [Published on 11-14-2014]
Gullah Story Teller Carolyn WhitePlay video
Storytelling from Gullah speaker Carolyn White, from 2009.
Received Pronunciation and Shakespeare's "Original Pronunciation"Play video
Actor Ben Crystal performs Shakespeare in both Received Pronunciation and what he calls Shakespeare's "Original Pronunciation" (Early Modern English?) and discusses the differences between the two.