The paradox of protecting endangered languages

Lang, but gey interestin. Seys it’s mair easy-like fur governments tae support endangert languages wi speaker populations,”so small that they do not represent a real threat to any cultural or political agendas”. Supportin bigger and “more troublesome” leids (like Scots) is anither maitter awthegither….

One FB commentator said,

Using a sort of palliative care to give the illusion of revival while actually easing language/culture towards extinction. It also provides a backdrop of ‘how quaint; too out-moded/parochial/irrelevant to survive as our language/culture can’ how sad!’

The Last Word: We Fetishize Dying Languages. Why?

A t the beginning of each semester, Lise Dobrin asks the undergraduates who take her Languages of the World class at the University of Virginia if they’ve ever heard or read about endangered languages. Fifteen years ago, only a few had; nowadays everyone raises a hand. Why the shift?


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