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"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: Mail & Guardian Online: Nushu

Submitter: Karen Chung

Submitter Email: karchung@ntu.edu.tw
Linguistic Field(s): Writing Systems
Anthropological Linguistics

Media Body: Mail & Guardian online (South Africa)
07 December 2005

Mother tongue

Jon Watts

Nushu, the secret women's script of the Yao minority in China, was
widely declared extinct last year, when its most famous user, Yang Huangyi,
died aged 92. But obituaries for the world’s only gender-specific language
appear to have been premature.


Karen Chung

Issue Number: 16.3508
Date Posted: December 08, 2005

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