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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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Discussion Details

Title: Re: Social Media and Endangered Languages
Submitter: Oliver Stegen
Description: Great discussion topic, Roger, thanks!

While those endangered language communities which have no access
to the internet will probably not benefit directly from digital tools, they
can still benefit indirectly, e.g. through language documentation on

In these times when mobile phones have penetrated to rural areas,
much more is possible for indigenous language use on the web. One
digital tool showing this for many under-resourced languages (granted,
not many of those are also endangered) is IndigenousTweets, cf.

A more individual success story may be the Rangi chat group on
Facebook which has grown to over 300 members, quite a number of
whom contribute via mobile from rural villages in Kondoa district,
Northern Central Tanzania
(cf. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TuluusikeKilaangi/ ).

Usage of LWCs notwithstanding (which is impossible to disappear), the
more online niches are created and advertised, the better for
endangered language communities (in the opinion of yours truly).
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2012
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
LL Issue: 23.904
Posted: 22-Feb-2012

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