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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: Endangered Langs/U.S. Nat'l Public Radio

Submitter: Steven Bird

Submitter Email: sb@unagi.cis.upenn.edu
Media Body: On Friday 8 March, NPR Science Friday ran a program on endangered
languages, involving Larry Kaplan (ANLC), Jerry Edmondson (UT Arlington)
and myself. The show featured sound clips from indigenous languages in
Africa, Asia and North America.

Here is the description of the show from the Science Friday website:

> You hear about endangered species all the time -- but when was the las
> time you thought about languages being endangered? On the other hand, when
> was the last time you heard someone speaking Woria, or Yevanic, or Areeba?

> The decline of these and other languages around the world is closely
> connected to the issue of globalization. In this hour of Science Friday,
> we'll talk about the issue of endangered languages, hear some of them in
> action, and find out why some researchers are working to understand and
> preserve these dying tongues.

> Some linguists predict that by the end of this century half of the
> languages now spoken in the world will be extinct. How is a culture shaped
> by its language? Does it really matter if we all speak the same language
> one day?

For more information, please see the website for the show:

The audio recording for the show is available in the NPR archive:

Steven Bird

Steven.Bird@ldc.upenn.edu http://www.ldc.upenn.edu/sb
Assoc Director, LDC; Adj Assoc Prof, CIS & Linguistics
Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania
3615 Market St, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2608

Issue Number: 13.686
Date Posted: March 13, 2002

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