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When a Language Dies (Nahuatl)


In the description of the video (Narrated in Nahuatl and subbed Spanish);

English Version:

When a tongue dies Divine things, The stars, the Sun, and the Moon Human things, Thinking and feeling Are no longer reflected In that mirror.

When a tongue dies Everything in the World Seas and rivers, Animals and plants, Are not thought of nor spoken of With glimmers and sounds That no longer exist.

Then, A window, A door closes For all peoples of the World. A glance In a different way At divine and human things, At everything that exists and is life on the ground.

When a tongue dies, Its words of love, Intonation of sorrow and fondness, Perhaps old chants, Tales, discourses, prayers, Nobody, as they were Will be able to repeat.

When a tongue dies, Many more have already died And many can die. Mirrors forever broken Voice shadows Forever silenced: Humankind is impoverished.

January 12, 2018



Beautiful (but sad) sentiments. I hope with resources like YouTube, Duo, and others, as many languages can be "saved" as possible.

There is a huge seed depository in Norway in case anything happens to different plants around the world. Does anyone know if there is any kind of "language depository" project currently going on in the world?


And a lot more plants, but we still try to save them :) I don’t know about any depository, since we would need lots of resources for each language (and, since a language is always evolving and is always a bit different depending on who uses it, it would be impossible to save all of it’s specificities). What we do have is often a description of the language, and with internet for now lots of them at least some audio samples, texts… of course it would not be good enough to learn them completely, but it’s better than nothing, and we have to remember than no matter the data, a language is alive only when it is used. If it’s frozen on some database, it’s not alive. But it can come back to life if used again, since using it means changing it :) I also know that some linguists spend their lives trying to find those disappearing languages in order to describe them and keep a trace of their existence.


Beautiful video, thanks for sharing!

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