I had MANY discussions about languages this morning, great experience!

[deactivated user]

    I put up a stand. "Saving Endangered Languages".
    People came to check out my board.

    They asked questions. The most sad one I thought was,"Did you hear about Welsh becoming close to extinction?" It was really sad to hear. The most interesting one was,"Since you speak Mandarin Chinese and English, which language do you use, to think?"

    I talked with others about saving endangered languages. "Historians + Linguists. Historians got the history, Linguists got the language, BAM, you put them together, you apply for an endangered language course on Duolingo, and publicity just might help save a language."

    My favorite comment was,"It's weird. All we think about is how animals become endangered. We never realize anything about how languages can become endangered."

    <h1>Best of all... I met two Duolingo users! One was learning Portuguese, another was learning French. I got to notify one of them about the Klingon course :)</h1>

    3 years ago

    29 Comments


    https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
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    It's funny, I've never really thought of Welsh as a language in danger of extinction. It's far from being a language that is expanding, sure, but as languages go, it survived the Romans, it survived the Vikings, against all odds it survived the English... that's not a bad track record. Even my mum is trying to learn it, and she's a retiring English teacher....

    I find the situation in the Americas far more depressing. Between north America generally considered as English speaking countries, and central and south America being considered Spanish and Portuguese speaking, there is really an entire hemisphere worth of languages being bleached out of existence. I'm not even really a sentimental person, I think all languages will eventually be superseded by newer languages, but it's really telling that we think of the world of the Incas and Aztecs as 'The Lost World'. Everyone with any common sense is aware that those continents have a far deeper history than just the European one, but what is left of it today?

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/George_Melons

    What's the name of that one language in Mexico that's going extinct because the only two people that speak it refuse to talk to each other?

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/aereperennius
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    Ayapa Zoque or Ayapaneco. (By the way, I was really interested in this language, but I found this article a while ago http://stories.schwa-fire.com/who_save_ayapaneco that kind of shattered the whole story for me.)

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    The story behind the story is itself very interesting, though. Thanks for the link.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
    Plus
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    Wow, what a shame they went with the fake version when the real version of the story is so much better.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave
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    This article has to be read, thank you for bringing it to our attention. It raises good questions.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/aereperennius
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    You're welcome! I agree that it's a really thought-provoking and important read.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/zakblak
    Plus
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    This is awesome! I would love to run into someone doing something like this! Where did you set up shop?

    3 years ago

    [deactivated user]

      We had to do a project at school :)

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
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      Great work! I can't wait to start Welsh :D My school is doing a project similar to this too :)

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/CHarrell13
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      Whoever told you that Welsh is in danger of extinction was badly mistaken. It has a rather lively speaker community, both in and outside Wales (namely in Patagonia for the latter).

      It's in much better shape than, well, all of the other Celtic languages. Irish keeps veering in and out of a moribund state (that is, one where native speakers are dying faster than new ones are being born). Breton is well into the moribund state thanks to suppression by the French government that was reversed far, far to late. Scottish Gaelic is nearly dead (dead meaning no native speakers, but at least some L2), but is doing better than I'd thought (see below), and Manx Gaelic -was- dead, only to be brought back by educational and parental initiatives, but it's still very, very endangered, simply on a numerical basis.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Linaria1
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      Scottish Gaelic has 57,000 native speakers. My Gaelic teacher is one of them. It's still an endangered language though.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/CHarrell13
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      I did only say nearly dead, but that's actually a lot more speakers than I thought. Thanks for the info!

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Linaria1
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      Yeah, but you said it had no native speakers.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/CHarrell13
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      I was clarifying what dead means in the context of a language, which is no native speakers. I'll edit my phrasing.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Linaria1
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      Ah, I see. Sorry, I misunderstood :)

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/WanderingMonk
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      Awesome! Duo looks great!

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
      Mod
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      This is really great! Very creative and colorful too. I really like your Duo xD

      It's a tragedy whenever a language goes extinct. There are so many beautiful things we can learn about how others think about the world, how we might think about the world embedded in languages. Whenever a language goes extinct, it is a great loss for us all. I made a discussion a few days ago, in it is a link to a short video about features in languages that English doesn't have. If you want, you can check it out here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12805776

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/isaacishumble
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      Woah! This is awesome!

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
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      I love your handwriting!!!!

      You did a great job with this. I'm giving you some lingots because you are so awesome!

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/AnIsAPandah

      Yaaas her handwriting is fab :P

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Hyllning

      Very nice Joy! I wish I can be as good as art as you. I'm only good at Archery and Commentary for YouTube.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/gingerninja3148

      Great work! This is really awesome! So you did it as a school project? Because if I could do something like this (something related to languages) as a project for school I would be so involved in the project and ace it lol.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Vedun
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      Woah, Vietnamese is the fifth most spoken language in the states. Of all languages!

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

      That's amazing! Great job with your project!

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Repelsteeltje
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      Good work! This is a nice topic to think about. How many people are needed to speak of a language? Are two persons enough?

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave
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      Do you mean to ask how many speakers a language needs to be considered alive? As long as there are native speakers, it's alive. Then, its being endangered or not depends on the number of native speakers it has, but I am not familiar with the exact figures.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/CHarrell13
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      Hard numbers are not terribly useful, because it also depends on generational transmission. If a language had a million speakers, but they were all over 40 and none of their children were raised with it, it would be endangered, but a language with 10,000, spoken by a thriving community, including children, would not be.

      3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Taurendil
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      This is awesome! I think we all are here because we're interested in languages... ;D

      I have one question. It says that if a language becomes extinct, some people might not be able to communicate with each other. I can't understand this. When there are speakers of a language, they probably use it. That's why it doesn't disappear. But if, for example, all the speakers die, there is no one to speak the language (let's assume it's a language with little written texts). And now even when the language is extinct, it's not a problem to the speakers. So how does this make sense? There wouldn't even be any native willing to communicate with it if the language is extinct.

      That's really sad though, to hear about endangered languages :(

      3 years ago
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