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Language spoken by only two people


Posted on Friday, 15 April, 2011 | Comment icon 28 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
The indigenous Mexican language Ayapaneco is dying out with only two people left alive who can speak it.

To make matters worse neither will speak to the other and nobody else knows more than a few words. 75-year-old Manuel Segovia and 69-year-old Isidro Velazquez are the only two people left who can speak it fluently. Linguistic anthropologist Daniel Suslak has been attempting to get the two men to help him put together a dictionary of the language before it is lost forever.

"Mr Segovia reportedly spoke the language with his brother until he died around 10 years ago, and he still converses with his son and wife, who understand him but are unable to speak more than a few words."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (28)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 19 April, 2011, 12:10
Yeah, the first words people usually learn in another language are the cussing words I'm confident the first cuss is within the first ten words.
Comment icon #20 Posted by UFO_Monster on 19 April, 2011, 21:34
The extinction of a language? Fascinating.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Thatsright on 22 April, 2011, 6:06
Quick, kill them!
Comment icon #22 Posted by XxCRYPTIDSXx on 22 April, 2011, 9:38
wow... can u actually randomly say "quick, kill them" thatsright??? its horrible and pretty gross. amazing story though.
Comment icon #23 Posted by danielost on 22 April, 2011, 12:36
Then let it die,You dont speak it,I dont speak it,Not much of a great loss if noone speaks it.Let it go the way of the Aztecs,If no one speaks it except those two fellows then just let it go and turn to something worth while.It's not like they are going to teach it to anyone or have classes .Not one of the languages that anyone wants to learn anyway.I'm hispanic but I feel it's time for it to pass. dont worry even if these two spoke to each other the language is already dead. also did you even know about it before the op. more people speak latin than this, not counting the science community,.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Makoto Jupiter on 9 July, 2011, 15:32
I hope someone is able to preserve their language before its too late. But thanks to the internet and texting, some of the world's top endangered languages are actually being revived or restored. Technology can have the opposite effect on language, not primarily to endorse/promote a global language like English. Some of the world's endangered languages are capable of translation by Bablefish and other language translation software. Babelfish is a link that speaks loud! Translations from English to other languages of this sentence: "I love to come into message forums in any language" French: "J... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by Makoto Jupiter on 9 July, 2011, 15:32
I know a few Native American languages exist in the U.S. after 3 centuries of cultural decimation, but they survived to the present day and may be spoken in small numbers in American Indian communities or solely used during tribal ceremonies or rituals. Despite the English language was imposed on native American tribes to nearly replace their native tongues, my grandpa of Cherokee descent (before he passed away) passed on those words to me and my Mom. Here are 5 words I know of from the Cherokee Language (I doubt the fullest accuracies, but this is up to my knowledge on the subject): Osiyo (he... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by Makoto Jupiter on 9 July, 2011, 22:04
...to continue (I had to edit the duplicate post, either UM or my PC has serious loading time problems) on the subject, I got myself a copy of the Cherokee Phoenix paper from the time I was there in Oklahoma back in 2006. They had a small feature 'Practice Cherokee' in which I saved. Here are the Cherokee words from the news excert and translations into English. Greetings oh-see-yoh = Hello oh-see-gwoo = I am Fine oh-sdah = Fine toh-hee-joo? = How are you? nee-hah-nah? = How about you? ne-ho (?) = You (like in 'Wado' for thank you). Relatives (female) U-ni-tsi = Mother U-we-tsi-a-ge-yv = Daugh... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Robert1 on 9 July, 2011, 22:38
Then let it die,You dont speak it,I dont speak it,Not much of a great loss if noone speaks it.Let it go the way of the Aztecs,If no one speaks it except those two fellows then just let it go and turn to something worth while.It's not like they are going to teach it to anyone or have classes .Not one of the languages that anyone wants to learn anyway.I'm hispanic but I feel it's time for it to pass. I agree. Let it die out. When a language has been reduced in usage to the point where only two people in the world speak it, then it's time to let it go.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Lorelei on 11 July, 2011, 22:45
I don't follow...Why does having these two men chat with each other do anything to help preserve the language? Can't they do that seperately? I thought the same thing. How does the two men talking to one another do anything at all? They should be teaching the language to their children or other relatives, that way it will be passed down to the next generations.


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