Earlier in the month, the BBC posted a piece about Gyani Maiya Sen, a 75-year-old Nepalese woman who is the last living speaker of the Kusunda language.
The story places a human face on what is a linguistic catastrophe. According to the Endangered Language Allianc, a group that fights to protect languages from dying out, there are approximately 6500 spoken languages which still are still spoken and of those 90 percent will become extinct by the end of the 21st century.
Based in New York City, the ELA says there are 400 languages within the five boroughs alone which are on the verge of extinction.
Their goal “is to record and describe endangered languages through audio, video, film, and print; to create teaching materials; promote linguistic research on endangered languages; and sponsor public and media events dedicated to issues surrounding the endangered language crisis.”
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Yiddish Version)
Baseball season is in full swing, so here a version of the anthem to America’s pastime sung in Yiddish.
Nem mikh mit tsu der ball geym
Tsum oylem lomir dokh geyn
Koyf mir di nislekh un krekerjek
Vil ikh keyn molfun dort nit avek
Git zey mut, mut, mut, di ball shpiler
Es past nit az men farshpilt
Vayls’iz eyns, tsvey, dray strikes, un oys
Bay der beysball shpil
Reviving the Language of Jesus
Aramaic is a language that has been around for over three thousand years. It was the original language of large sections of the Bible and is believed to be the language of Jesus.
The Daily Mail is reporting that an effort is being made to revive the teaching of Aramaic to Christian schoolchildren in the Israeli village of Jish.
Once the dominant language of the region, Aramaic is hardly spoken these days in the Middle East, outside of prayers. Eighty children at the school, aged 5-10, are, however, learning Aramaic for every-day use.s
According to The Mail, “the children are helped in their studies by an Aramaic-speaking television channel from Sweden, of all places, where a vibrant immigrant community has kept the ancient tongue alive.”
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