I read gladly of this idea for saving memory and existence of small communities languages with a talking dictionary. That is of great importance because of preservation of endangered languages and moreover to saving their own sounds. So far we had the creation of grammars and some written dictionaries that does not help as much to preserve the language itself. Who of us can recall the real Latin? Every group has its own way of pronunciation of this now only written language as a matter of fact.
It was only the good and old Latin who died. There have been said that every two weeks one language dies around the world. But how is in important to notice.
A language does not die alone. The culture it is related to dies as well, the sense of community and the pride for the ethnicity it represents dies as well. A language is the mark of a motherland. Why do languages die, is a long long question to be debated, but I believe among other many reasons that people’s unwillingness to declare and/or believe that there are different ethnic groups, different branches of culture into a same country is killing many languages – and many cultures.
Some language thinkers believe that things exist because they are named. One passage that describes it can be found in Through the Looking Glass (Chap. 3) by L. Carroll. Alice comes to the wood where things have no name. There she cannot distinguish anything, nor herself as a human being or the so. Isn’t our not giving name to things making them un-existing so to say?
Similarly if small communities stop naming the things with their own names, or even naming themselves they will slowly stop existing. As there is never absolute synonyms there is not absolute translation to things, as the way I perceive one thing is sure other then you, dear reader do.
Well much of a reflection by now it is only to give my perception of the necessity of helping these small languages to keep on existing and as a consequence keep the memory and pride of their using communities.
- 55 endangered State languages to be documented (assamtribune.com)
- Video news: Linguist K. David Harrison launches talking dictionaries for endangered languages (manenomatamu.wordpress.com)
- Cyber zoo to preserve endangered languages (smh.com.au)
- Internet may save endangered languages (telegraph.co.uk)
- Native Americans Fight to Save Endangered Languages (livescience.com)
- Dying languages to be preserved in talking dictionaries (independent.co.uk)
- Poliglot (local) radio (stupidideasoftheday.wordpress.com)
- Reinfeldt har rätt – men det räcker inte. (svd.se)