четверг, 30 июня 2011 г.

121. Language death: one language becomes extinct every two weeks

Have you ever thought that our life can be traced, recorded and remembered as long as our language continues to exist? There are approximately 6,500 languages in the world, half of which will disappear by the end of the century. An alarming statistics indicates that currently one language is disappearing every 14 days! For example, Berbice Dutch (a Dutch creole) spoken in part of Guyana (a country in South America) has been declared officially extinct according to the March issue 2010 of National Geographic magazine. The man in the illustration above is Manuel Segovia, one of the last two people speaking the language Ayapaneco, the original language of Mexico. Manuel calls this language Nuumte Oote, which means"The true voice".

Just like the language Ayapaneco, there are more than 3,000 other voices around the globe that want to be heard. Dr. Mark Turin from Cambridge University has undertaken an endeavor trying to preserve some of the world's dying languages. He is now director of World Oral Literature Project and attempts to bring together all the like-minded people to help preserve the language diversity, one at a time. Watch this video where he shares his vision and encourages others to join: