Author Posts

HOW TWO YOUNG BOYS PRESERVED AN ENTIRE LANGUAGE COMMUNITY (PART 2)

In the first part of this series, I gave a brief overview of the creators of the ADLaM script and the work they did. You may read it here.

In this part, I am going to present some of the factors that mitigate the promotion and use of indigenous languages, based on an interview I had with Abdoulaye and Ibrahima Barry.

The first major challenge for indigenous languages is the general negative attitude of the indigenous speakers themselves towards the languages. The brothers believe this attitude is a product of colonisation.

In Guinea, if one does not know how to read and write in French,

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HOW TWO YOUNG BOYS PRESERVED AN ENTIRE LANGUAGE COMMUNITY (PART 1)

Language is an important part of our human heritage. It is the vehicle through which we communicate our innermost thoughts and feelings, as well as transmit culture, identity, ideologies, and values from one generation to another. This means that the language of a people essentially represents their unique existence.

However, as shown by recent research, humanity is losing its languages (and, consequently, diversity) at an alarming rate. According to the 2016 edition of the UNESCO Atlas of Languages in Danger, a whopping 40% of the world’s known languages are in danger of disappearing.

“When you study the history of the development of the French language or any other language for that matter,

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The ever-changing world of terms

Word shift. Loanwords. Portmanteau words. What sort of terms are these? Well, these are the terms we use to describe changes in the vocabulary of a language and therefore changes to the language itself. Language changes constantly and this extends from the level of words all the way to sentence structure. Have you ever used a word that is outdated, or have you ever heard teenagers speaking together and found you could make no sense of what they were talking about? More or less, we all have been there, but have we ever thought that the process of language change that this represents and the importance of choosing the right words can make all the difference in 

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Basque Language and Culture

Today, Translation Commons (TC) has the pleasure of speaking with Kutz Arrieta on the topic of the revitalization of endangered languages. Kutz works as an Analytical Linguist at Google, she received her Ph.D. in Anthropological Linguistics from The Ohio State University, and is an active member of the Basque community in California. 

Below is a graphic that represents cultural identity responses to the 1981 and 1991 census in the Spanish-Franco regions officially known as the Basque Autonomous Community (Basque Country).

Cultural identity according to the 1981 and 1991 census based on the question Do you consider yourself Basque? 1 – Yes.

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