The Revival of Endangered Languages


We ,as human beings, get bored easily, no matter what the subject is. We go and make tattoos when we want a “new skin”, we go and make our hair cut or dyed when we want a new style, we go and move to another city/country when we want a new life etc. What happens when we get bored of our own language? We go back to basics, to endangered languages which were once used in out culture or country. This is exactly what happens with the advance of technology. When we speak and write and mail and text the same language, somehow, we want something new. We want a new kind of code that not everybody understands. Asya Pereltsvaig explains this situation with many examples. I have quoted the parts I find interesting. For the rest of the article, you can click the link below:

Case in point: teenagers in South and Central America using dying languages as a “cool” code.

According to Samuel Herrera, who runs the linguistics laboratory at the Institute of Anthropological Research in Mexico City, young people in southern Chile produce hip-hop videos and post them on YouTube using Huilliche, a language on the brink of extinction. Similarly, teenagers in Mexico think it’s “cool” to send text messages in regional endangered languages, such as Huave.

Overall, these languages aren’t doing too well. According toUNESCO’s list of endangered languages, Huilliche with its 2000 speakers is listed as a “critically endangered language”, meaning that “the youngest speakers are grandparents and older, and they speak the language partially and infrequently”. Varieties of Huave in Mexico are listed in different categories.

So why are teenagers using these dying languages on the Internet and in their text messages? As soon as text messaging exploded on the world stage, young people began to look for a way to make it more exclusive and develop their own code or doublespeak. First, shorthand and abbreviations became a popular way to keep the “inside joke” of LOL, or “laughing out loud,” and brb, or “be right back,” within the circle. In time, though, these catchphrases reached a broader audience, losing their cache and exclusivity. They even made it into the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. And as soon as the use of such abbreviations became widespread and commercial, the code was no longer “cool”. And so youngsters turn to endangered languages for the next “cool” code.

For the rest of the article, click here.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks, for discussing. It is so much benifited for me. I get much information about your discussion. I thing it is very important for us.


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