3 Languages That Are Hidden But Not Forgotten
3 . Piedmontese (native name: Piemontèis)
Peidmontese is a Romance language with about 3 million speakers in the Piedmont region of Italy. It is considered by the government as a "dialect" of Italian, but linguistically Piedmontese is actually more closely related to French and Catalan. In fact, unless you substitute traditional Peidmontese words with Italian words, the two languages are almost mutually unintelligible.
It giutró a sté mej. (I am going to help you get better.)
A l'é mai tròp tard për amprende. (No one is too old to learn)
Spoken sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_FJ_D1BVkI
2 . Shanghainese (上海闲话 or Zaanheh-hehho)
Shanghainese is a Chinese language spoken in Shanghai, along with Standard Mandarin and Cantonese. Shanghainese has been under a recent history of oppression by the two more widely spoken verities of Chinese, to the point where the language has been used in music to challenge the use of Mandarin and Cantonese in the area. There is no official standard of writing using Chinese characters but there is an official transliteration of sounds. Shanghainese is not used in education and rarely used by local radios.
Spoken sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaUt3gTwwzU
1 . Yi (ꆈꌠ꒿ )
Yi is spoken in parts of Mainland China, Northern Vietnam and Northern Thailand. It is spoken by the Yi people. It has many dialects and has been growing in use thanks to Internet communications. The Yi language has it's own photographic syllabary with hundreds of characters, which may be closely related to early Chinese writing systems.
Sample of both spoken and written language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNl9qK3trDQ
Syllabary sample in writing and pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m43KpZ_90d4
Have you heard of these languages before? Would you learn them and why? What other "hidden" or minority languages are you interested in?
Or to quote the well known adage, "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy." (Sometimes even more controversially rendered: "A language is a dialect with an army and a flag.")
Both are somewhat flippant (and potentially offensive, depending on the history of the language in question) ways of putting it, but as you point out, there's a nugget of truth in them, too.
To me, that just means minority languages need the support of the people all the more, to make up for the lack of support from their lack of an army/navy/flag/historical luck/effects of colonialism/whatever it may be... but as a student of Irish, I am very biased. :)
Have you seen that there is a movement in Dalarna to have the Swedish government formally recognize Elfdalien? Super interesting! https://www.thelocal.se/20160912/can-swedens-ancient-forest-language-be-saved
I've never heard of any of these. By my learning languages, you can probably tell I like Romance languages, so I'd definitely be interested in Piedmontese.
Also I just want to say that I really love all of your discussions. Every time I click on "Discussion" I see an intriguing discussion or a comment on a different discussion from you and they're all really great. Keep it up!