Preserving rare languages: Embracing the future

Quick, remind me: how do you say "lights, camera, action"? THE phrase "use it or lose it" applies to few things more forcefully than to obscure languages. A tongue that is not spoken will shrivel into extinction. If it is lucky, it may be preserved in a specialist lexicographer's dictionary in the way that a dried specimen of a vanished butterfly lingers in a museum cabinet. If it is unlucky, it will disappear for ever into the memory hole that is unwritten history.This is not a fate which appeals to K. David Harrison, of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. But Dr Harrison is an optimist. He believes information technology--something seen by many people as a threat to linguistic diversity--might actually turn out to be its saviour.On the face of things, there are few more powerful forces for the extermination of languages than IT. The internet, in particular, looks like a threat. It spreads imperious, widely spoken tongues like English at the expense of more modest, local ones, as an introduced species of ani

Preserving rare languages: Embracing the future

Quick, remind me: how do you say "lights, camera, action"? THE phrase "use it or lose it" applies to few things more forcefully than to obscure languages. A tongue that is not spoken will shrivel ...

Thu 23 Feb 12 from The Economist

Digital tools 'to save languages'

Facebook, YouTube and even texting will be the salvation of many of the world's endangered languages, scientists believe.

Sat 18 Feb 12 from BBC News

Podcast: Saving Endangered Languages

What can be done to preserve dying tongues?

Fri 17 Feb 12 from Science Now

Dying languages to be preserved in talking dictionaries

Some of the thousands of endangered languages destined to soon become extinct because so few people are speaking them are being preserved in the form of digital "talking dictionaries", designed ...

Fri 17 Feb 12 from The Independent

'Talking dictionaries' document vanishing languages

Digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of the world's most endangered languages. Linguists from National Geographic's Enduring Voices project who are racing to document and revitalize ...

Fri 17 Feb 12 from Phys.org

Pictures: See and Hear Last Speakers of Dying Languages

Faces and recorded voices tell the stories of endangered languages, thanks to new "talking dictionaries."

Fri 17 Feb 12 from National Geographic

Native Americans Fight to Save Endangered Languages

Some of the world's languages are now spoken by only a handful of people.

Fri 17 Feb 12 from Livescience

American Indian Movement Song

Margaret Noori sings a traditional song in the Ashininaabemowin of the Ojibwe people of Michigan.

Fri 17 Feb 12 from Livescience

Digital Dictionaries Help Save Vanishing Languages

Two linguists aim to save endangered languages using digital multimedia and the Internet.

Fri 17 Feb 12 from Discovery.com

Internet aids endangered world languages

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Near-extinct languages, spoken by only small groups of people around the world, could be saved by social media networks and the Internet, U.S. researchers ...

Mon 20 Feb 12 from UPI

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