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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Media: Discovery Channel: Archives of Babel 2/21

Submitter: Maartje Schreuder

Submitter Email: M.J.Schreuder@let.rug.nl
Media Body: In celebration of International Mother Language Day Discovery
Communications, Inc. in partnership with UNESCO, and the UN Works
Programme, will highlight some of the world's endangered languages
with a broadcast to over 100 million viewers internationally on the
Discovery Channel.

The broadcast will include nine short-form programs that capture
stories from the few remaining people who speak these threatened
languages. The stories were filmed in Scotland, Sweden, Canada, Japan,
Malaysia, Mexico, Argentina, and India. Websites from UNESCO
www.unesco.org and the UN Works Programme (www.un.org/works) will
complement the short-form programs to futher bring these little known
languages and cultures to millions of people worldwide. On
International Mother Language Day, Discovery Channel will also air
Archives of Babel, a program that attempts to reconstruct the world's
first language, as spoken by every human being at a given moment in
history. Many of today's languages have roots originating from tha
single language.

International Mother Language Day is February 21st. It was proclaimed
by UNESCO's General Conference in November 1999, and was celebrated
for the first time on February 21st, 2000.

Issue Number: 14.490
Date Posted: February 19, 2003

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