3 Comments

OUR VANISHING VOICES


I Am Home sculpture by kayti Sweetland Rasmussen
“One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly one half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on earth will disappear as communities abandon native tongues in favor of Enlish, Mandarin or Spanish”.
As one Native American in Parker, Arizona, who is one of the last speakers of his Chemehuevi language says “It’s like a bird losing feathers. You see one float by and there it goes—another word.”
Many people around the world speak dialects, and broken languages (those whose country ajoins another often collect words from their neighbor and add to their own, thus contaminating the original language.)
When languages disappear, they take along with them the legends, customs, etc. of the people. It takes away knowledge.
Language identifies us. The Seri people are an idigenous group of the Mexican state of Sonora. The Seri language is distinct from all others in the region and is considered to be a linguistic isolate.
The people say “Everyone has a flower inside, and inside the flower is a word.” The petals from the Seri flower are dropping rapidly, and with a population of slightly below l.000, it won’t be long before the petals are gone from their flower.

When governments attempt to destroy a native language, much as the United States did to the Native American, the language in its pure form loses much of its flow. In the sculpture above, the returning child is enveloped by his mother’s robe which is embellished with the stories of his people. A familiar story told in another language, never achieves the original tempo.
I found it interesting to read that the three languages proposed to substitute the remaining languages are said to be “English, Mandarin or Spanish”. In California alone, those three languages are readily apparent.

Advertisements

3 comments on “OUR VANISHING VOICES

  1. There is an attempt to revive Cornish, which died about a century ago:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_language

    Like

    • I used to pride myself on being able to recognize speech patterns from much of the United States, however with the influence of media, everyone except the South sounds alike now!  African-American speech is interesting though.  No matter how much education, they have two languages—English and Street!  I seem to speak English, a smattering of Spanish, and Dog!  The last due to the great numbers of dogs I have coached through the years.  I give up on the teenage population though.  No one can understand them.

      ________________________________

      Like

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: