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Interested in Language Preservation?


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Hello fellow Language enthusiasts :)

While no language will ever truly die out, certain languages are becoming less and less spoken. Is anyone interested in keeping this languages alive and kicking?

Latin!

Old Norse!

Yiddish!

U-Me script of Tibetan!

Amaraic!

Torani!

Sanskrit!

Anyone got any more examples?

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I think keeping languages alive is very important for the human race because it tells us a lot about our history and also it chronicles the similarities and differences as well as the origins of some of the words we use now. I'm mostly interested in Yiddish because I'm fascinated by Jewish culture, and I think the language sounds amusing even though I don't really find it all that appealing to the ears.

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I think keeping languages alive is very important for the human race because it tells us a lot about our history and also it chronicles the similarities and differences as well as the origins of some of the words we use now. I'm mostly interested in Yiddish because I'm fascinated by Jewish culture, and I think the language sounds amusing even though I don't really find it all that appealing to the ears.

This makes me wonder about a time when computers can learn languages more fluently than humans. At that point, would humans eve need to learn dead languages. Computers themselves could keep them alive. Would people still learn these dead languages? Would MORE people learn these dead languages because we now understand them more?

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Well, this is someone after my own heart.

Why not add Old English on the list? It was used until about 1066, when the Norman Conquest brought French influence and the Middle English era began. It is still preserved in old manuscripts of Beowulf and the elegies (The Wanderer, The Seafarer...). It would be wonderful if the section about this language was started. I would be interested in it.

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Well, this is someone after my own heart.

Why not add Old English on the list? It was used until about 1066, when the Norman Conquest brought French influence and the Middle English era began. It is still preserved in old manuscripts of Beowulf and the elegies (The Wanderer, The Seafarer...). It would be wonderful if the section about this language was started. I would be interested in it.

Very true! Why not pile on Old Church Slavonic, too?

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Very true! Why not pile on Old Church Slavonic, too?

I like the idea. Old Church Slavonic was one of the key languages in forming the Slavic group, and definitely its first recorded.

I bet there could be a lot of other languages as well on this list - Sanskrit is a very important one. Many Indo-Europeists believe that it's the best preserved language and closest to the root. It's sad that something as precious is dying out.

Did you know about the Arcadian dialect in Greece? It goes back to BC 1200. How amazing!

And the list keeps getting longer...

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I am really interested in the preservation of Native American languages. I am a hopi indian and some of the dialects are dying out. The only problem is that I do not live near a lot of other hop indians so it is hard to try to preserve a language when the only speakers are two states away.

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Wait a minute, you speak the language of Hopi Indians? That's incredible... As a linguist, I am very interested in all languages and I'd never before encountered someone who speaks one of the Native American languages. I would love seeing how it functions, what the commonalities are, what differences...

Really incredible! I didn't even know we had such a variety here... it's impossible to pick just one language. It's sad that this one is still alive, but there aren't many speakers in the vicinity... so, you grew up bilingual?

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I am really interested in the preservation of Native American languages. I am a hopi indian and some of the dialects are dying out. The only problem is that I do not live near a lot of other hop indians so it is hard to try to preserve a language when the only speakers are two states away.

Oh my goodness... language of the hopi indians! I would love to learn a little. Feel free to pm... :shy:

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I am so interested in this!! I am especially interested in languages spoken by the minority people's of China and Russia, like Nanai (Hezhe). Native American languages also interest me very much!

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The best example I can give you is the language of my people, I'm talking of ''Ladino'', the language spoken by the sephardi jews.  Our language is dying, right now is only spoken in Israel by a few grandmothers, but you can find a few places where you can learn it.  Still, less and less young people are showing interest in it. I honestly think this language is going to die out soon.  It's sad but true, very few living speakers.  When the last ladino speaking grandma in Israel dies... that will surely be it.  Sadly this is something bound to happen.

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@IronMike   I might actually do it later on, I've some materials I'd love to share... but I hadn't because I didn't think anyone would be interested in ''ladino'',  other than the Sephardi Jews living in Israel (and the rest of the world).  Oddly enough most Sephardi Jews I've met don't seem so interested :(   

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When language preservation subject comes in, I always think how  aboriginal languages are doing lately. In LatinAmerica, the aboriginal people preserve their language quite well. The two major language families are the "arahuaca" and "caribbean" which branch in: arauak, chibcha, guajibo,sáliva-piaroa, tupí, yanomam etc. The first studies in aboriginal languages were made by catholics missionaries from Europe. Several monks wrote  the first grammar and dictionaries for caribbean and arauak. Nowadays these are considered cultural patrimony and even if someday these languages are not spoken among natives anymore, these are already well preserved and protected for anyone willing to learn them.

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I think preserving languages is very important. Not only is it a major part of human history, but it also reflect the past of the human race too. The words are built around concepts that were around hundreds of years ago that aren't around today. Personally, I also take a special interest in preserving languages because I descend from a groups of people called the Balts, and many of their languages have died out. It really affects me that my own history is possibly unrecoverable. I've begun to learn Lithuanian, one of the last two living Baltic languages, in hopes that I can somehow learn a bit about my history. I really hope that the Lithuanian and Latvian languages don't die out.

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I've recently decided to dedicate all of my language learning to study Yiddish which almost became a dead language after WW2.  Only a small number of Hasidic European Jews still speak it today but I find it to a fascinating language and it was the first language of my paternal side of the family, so it's my mother tongue (mayn mame loshn in Yiddish) and I feel like learning to speak it fluently is a birth right for me even though it's become a very rare and obscure language.  I think it's important to preserve dying languages. 

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On 11/13/2014 at 2:06 AM, Baburra said:

I think keeping languages alive is very important for the human race because it tells us a lot about our history and also it chronicles the similarities and differences as well as the origins of some of the words we use now.

I think preserving languages is a waste of time as far as the advancement of human kind. I don't really care too much about certain things in our history. I'd rather see something like this like shedding snake skin. You don't preserve that, but know it was apart of history int he making. I know a lot of people like to refer back to word in Latin as a reference to things romantic or peoples names. 

 

I just don't think we should do that, and that's my opinion. 

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I have always thought of learning old languages like Latin but I have never got a chance. Someone who specialises in languages might be compelled to learn such languages. It will also be difficult to find someone who talks the same language. Are there apps that can help one learn old outdated languages? Many people avoid learning the languages because they see no reason of learning them and it is also difficult to get supportive materials. 

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Some of the languages that you mentioned are not exactly dying and have plenty of active and fluent speakers, like Latin (at least the ecclesiastical one), if people were to stop using them at least we have extensive documentation of vocabulary, written words and grammar rules to reconstruct the language, and even hours and hours of audio samples to reconstruct the pronunciation (the modern one that is). Really endangered languages have only a couple of living speakers and barely any written works. Luckily some people are working to preserve those languages, if you are interested you could search for Verdena Parker, to see an example.

Can you imagine being the only person in the world that can speak a language? Nobody understands you... That's lonely.

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