preserving languages


Teruyo is a restauranteur in Tokyo and activist from the Ainu culture, an indigenous community of northern Japan. She’s fighting for the survival of her mother tongue, which is spoken at varying levels of fluency by an unknown number of people. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Ainu speakers faced harsh persecution by the state, with legislation forbidding their language’s use in the public sphere, including education. As a consequence, only 10 native speakers remain. 

However, while the Ainu language was pushed to the brink of extinction, the Ainu people have since launched a lively revivalist movement, especially among younger generations. As a result, L2 speakers are on the rise, and an Ainu-language magazine has been in circulation since 1997. Nonetheless, the movement receives little support from the Japanese government.

Today, there are more than 3,000 language communities facing a similarly precarious future, pushing back against centuries of repression and marginalization. We’re building tools to help language activists like Teruyo document, share, and sustain their ways of speaking.

Here’s how you can help:

1) Share this post with your friends and family.

2) Pledge any amount on Kickstarter, and we’ll match your contribution.

3) Get 10 friends to join you in pledging.

Thank you, tangkyu, 御拝ど, takk fyri, +7000 more :)


Smoke That Travels (2016)

“Smoke That Travels” is a personal documentary by Kayla Briët that explores preservation and loss of culture and her own identity as Prairie Band Potawatomi.


What happens when a story is forgotten?

What a long journey it’s been. I started this film at 17, because I had a fear that part of my identity, my native Prairie Band Potawatomi heritage, would be inevitably lost in time. Through music, dance, and color, I’m inviting others to become immersed in the thoughts, histories, and emotions I grew up with. Little did I know that this film would take me on a journey for over a year. I got to meet indigenous communities from around the world - from the Sami of Scandinavia, Ainu of Japan, and many more - who were all dealing with the same struggle to preserve their language and culture. I felt so lucky to hear their stories and less alone.

Releasing this out into the world is a moment I will never forget, so here goes. I’ve dedicated this to my little (currently 3 year old) brother, Senachwine, as a reminder for myself to look back on in the future. Thank you so much to all who have supported this film time-capsule.

with love x
Miigwech (Thank you),

Do you hate learning Irish in school?

As Irish people, we should be honoured and proud to have our own language. We should consider ourselves lucky to have the chance to learn the language in school. However this is not the case…
As a student in an English speaking secondary school in a non-Gaeltacht area, I can tell you first-hand that the Irish language is anything but enjoyed. Students dread the Irish class and complain about how their time could be spent on more useful activities. I dread Irish class also however I do not hate the language. I know that I feel proud to have my own language and I feel that it should be enforced and enjoyed on our little island. The problem lies in the way that it is enforced.
On the Irish junior cert course are countless short stories and poems and the vocabulary that students learn are mostly to do with said stories and poems. This would be nice… if students could actually speak the basic language. For example, if I was to go to the Gaeltacht for a month I would have no problem speaking about emotions in “Subh Milis” by Seamus O'Neill or the tragedy in “An tÁdh” by Pádraic O'Conaire but I would most certainly struggle to understand certain language and would not be capable of getting certain ideas across to people.
It has gotten to the point where I know more basic German after 2 years than Irish after more than 10 years.
Enforcing Gaeilge would be so much more effective if we were taught to speak the language instead of being taught to rote-learn sample answers on poetry and prose. Rote-learning is not learning a language. Poetry and prose should be enjoyed when people can comfortably speak and understand a language without a teacher translating it word for word. Our Irish language would be embraced and enjoyed so much more if we weren’t forced to learn such painfully boring stories. Dear An Taoiseach, please, please, please alter the way Irish Is taught at second level. I know that it would be much more effective at preserving our own, native language. And just to prove my point about this corrupt system, the reason I have not sent you letter is because my teachers have said that it is a waste of time to learn how to write a formal letter, as it is easier to pass the exam using an informal letter. Thank you for reading.


The Muxes of Juchitán 

Juchitán is a town in the southeast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The town which is largely inhabited by the Zapotec Indigenous people, has not only preserved it’s precolonial language and culture, but has also retained gender identities and roles that transcend the traditional western ones. Those which were subjected onto much of the rest of Mexican society by European colonizers. 

This contrasting expression of gender that survives among the Zapotec and Mestizo communities of southern Oaxaca, takes its form in the concept of the muxe. Muxe is a term used to refer to those assigned male at birth, but who identify either as women or as a distinct third-gender. They are an intrinsic part of Zapotec society, and highly respected for the roles they play in families, such as taking care of their elderly parents when their siblings have moved out of the household. Despite the acceptance of them in many rural areas, they face discrimination in more urban areas, mainly by non-Indigenous people who have inherited the Spanish cultural attitude of machismo.
Cornish recognised as national minority group for the first time
Move means people of Cornwall will have same rights and protections as other Celtic groups in Scotland, Wales and Ireland
By Steven Morris

This is AMAZING!!!! Congrats to the Cornish and welcome to the club. :) 

Haha, in all honesty, this is great.  Preserving our various Celtic cultures, histories, and languages, especially in occupied lands.  

Imagine waking up one day in a world, like ours, but with a parallel society alongside it that outnumbers it, say, ten to one. They dress in strange robes that seem shapeless and have unusual patterns on them you’ve never seen before; they talk of kukesh and sava instead of “right” and “wrong,” and the virtue of maor, and they try to translate these words into your language, but when you try to compare them to things you care about–love, family, individualism, freedom, happiness–they make a face and shake their heads.

Keep reading

Rusty Nail’s Recipies

Dear Drinkers,

I’ve heard many of you talk about your love for a Rusty classic that he’s brought to and shared at many a con. And I was lucky enough that he gave me the recipe for it in a stream. I think now is a good time to share this simple and sweet recipe in his honor. I’ve preserved the language he used while still trying to mimic the style from his blog. Let’s all pour one out for a really phenomenal, funny, creative, influential, amiable, beloved member of our community. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s Honey Vanilla Infused Vodka


  1. 1 750ml bottle of 80 proof Smirnoff
  2. 1 12oz jar of honey. Like the squeezy honey bear from the grocery store.
  3. 1 Actual Fucking Vanilla Bean

Special Equipment:


Making Honey Vanilla Infused Vodka:

  1. Open bottle of Vodka and take a little swig
  2. Squeeze entire bear into bottle
  3. Place a knife about a quarter inch from the tip of the bean, and slit that sucker from bottom to top. Quarter inch stays connected at the bottom. Quarter inch stays connected at the top.
  4. Put bean into bottle.
  5. Screw cap back on bottle.
  6. Shake that motherfucker like you’re trying to become the next goddamned vine meme for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Put it in the fridge for a month. Shake it once a day for about a minute.

You’ve just made Honey Vanilla Infused Vodka!

Cheers, Rusty! We love you, man. You were taken from us too soon, but few people can say they’ve had as much of an impact as they did while alive as you did. And I think that’s worthy of celebration! Raise a glass!

anonymous asked:

Is there a particular order in which one should read/watch Shakespeare's plays? I've heard that you have to read a bunch of ancient literature like the Iliad and get to know all the ancient philosophers and then you have to read/watch Shakespeare in a very particular order. Thoughts?

No??? There are no rules in Shakespeare, and there’s no right way to enjoy his plays. You might find you really like the history plays, and have fun comparing Shakespeare’s version of history to the real thing. You might prefer his comedies, and find you have the most fun watching adaptations which preserve the language but throw in contemporary references, gender-reversed roles and a creative setting - like the recent Globe version of Midsummer which had a gay couple, Beyonce’s Single Ladies, and a Bollywood theme. Maybe you’ll find you can’t get past the language at all no matter how hard you try, but you really enjoy the stories, so you’ll watch stuff like She’s The Man, 10 Things I Hate About You and Shakespeare Retold. Maybe you’ll adore tragedies, and you’ll want to do some philosophising with Hamlet so you’ll research all the influences of thought in that play. You might like film adaptations, or prefer to go to tiny productions down the road that have an audience of 20 people and a budget of $2 and a paperclip. 

Shakespeare is meant to be enjoyable. Don’t get hung up on the notion that there’s a right way to read Shakespeare, or that you need to Appreciate him as Great Literature™. The guy was a storyteller, and it’s up to you to figure out which stories you like and how you like them to be told. Take his work at face value, and if you want to do further reading to get deeper into the text and tease out possible meanings or cultural contexts you may have missed, do it because you want to, not because you feel you have to. 

Russian Days Of The Week

Here are a few tips on how to memorize the names of the days of the week in Russian:

Понедельник (Monday) - derives from неделя, a week. Something that starts a new week.

Вторник (Tuesday) - from второй, second. It’s the second day of the week.

Среда (Wednesday) - from средний, middle. Wednesday is in the middle of the week.

Четверг (Thursday) - from четвертый, fourth. It’s the fourth day of the week.

Пятница (Friday) - from пять, five. I think, you guess why.

Суббота (Saturday) - from Sabbath.Yeah, Sabbath’s are on Saturdays, right?

Воскресенье (Sunday) - it is literally resurrection. Just remember that most holidays, including the Easter, happen on Sundays, so Sunday is a religious day (at least, the language preserves it this way).

Endangered language moodboard-Cypriot Arabic

Cypriot Arabic is a dialect of Arabic spoken only in Cyprus by the Maronite community that has existed on the island since the 10th century when people from modern-day Lebanon and Syria arrived on Cyprus. (This is a different community than modern-day Lebanese immigrants to Cyprus). Cypriot Arabic is an official minority language of Cyprus, along with Armenian. It is considered critically endangered as it only has a few thousand speakers and is expected to die out within the next one or two generations. Although efforts have been made to preserve the language, the community became fragmented after being displaced during the Turkish invasion of 1974. Prior to ‘74, there were four Maronite villages in North Cyprus, Kormakitis, Asomatos, Karpashia, and Ayia Marina. Today, these villages are mostly abandoned, although one holds a small number of enclaved persons. Despite past assassinations of enclaved persons, in January the Cypriot government approved the applications of 120 Maronites requesting to be resettled in their native villages. Members of the Maronite community hope for reunification of Cyprus in order to resolve the fragmentation that has endangered their language, and consider reestablishment of the four Maronite villages in occupied Cyprus to be essential to preserving Cypriot Arabic. @useless-lebanonfacts

Seeing as there is a lack of Bulgarian revolutionary babes, I thought I’d change that. For those of you who don’t know, Bulgaria was under 5 centuries of Ottoman slavery (yeah, that’s a really long time…), yet the people never forgot their origins due to two very important institutions - the Orthodox Church (wrote historical books as well as preserved the language) and the Educational System (spread olden traditions).

One person, belonging to the latter, is Rayna Popgeorgieva Futekova aka Rayna Knyaginya - a teacher and one of the many women who fought to liberate Bulgaria. She worked in the town of Panagyurishte and was asked to sew the flag for the April Uprising by Georgi Benkovski. Even though she would be risking her life, Rayna agreed and created one of the biggest symbols of the strive for freedom to ever exist (at least according to me, since it’s not universally recognized as such…) - a flag with a lion (the national animal) and the words “Свобода или смърт!” (“Freedom or death!”). With this at her side, together with a saber and revolver like a true hajduk (rebel fighting for freedom), she road around on a horse and describes later in her autobiography how old and young alike walked beside her singing songs, and women lay bouquets in her path. Yet, as she states, this was a “short-lived celebration”. The rebellion of 1876 was one of the many unsuccessful ones to go down, mercilessly suppressed and taking many victims on both sides - arguably 30 000 casualties. The only positive outcome was that it sparked a response from Europe, which had thus far turned a blind eye to the issue. In the meantime, Rayna was one of the people to be captured, though not slaughtered. Instead, the 20 year-old was beaten and raped, then left without food or water in the Plovid prison for over a month.

Fortunately enough, she was saved by some European diplomats and sent to study in Moscow. Rayna died at the age of 61 as the mother of 6 and a person that shall live on forever in the consciousness of generations of Bulgarians to come. Truly, what a brave wonderful woman!

Greek Gothic
  • Your keys were here just a second ago. You put them down on the table, turned your back for a moment, and now they’re gone. “The house spirits don’t want you to leave,” your mother says. “Leave out some honey for them. Maybe you can negotiate.” You do as you’re told, before they take something more precious from you.
  • You’re walking back from the olive grove along the dusty road that leads to the village proper. The sun is setting and the warm breeze rustles the reeds beside you. The rustling continues when the wind stops. You feel their gaze on you and look over to see them: black figures with no discernible features, watching without eyes from their place among the tall grasses. Never play in the reeds, you were always cautioned. Now you know why.
  • Tourists ignore the ruins behind your home. They aren’t beautiful, not preserved or retouched like the Acropolis. They are bitter reminders of a fallen civilization, smashed into the earth by hundreds of invaders over time. This temple is scarred and desecrated. The air sparks with the anger of the ancient gods.
  • Fresh spring water trickles down the mountain, chittering and babbling. You stop to take a drink and notice a small child playing nearby. The child beckons you to follow it up the stream, and you do, until the creek gets wider and deeper and the rocks become treacherous and you realize there was no child. You’re knee-deep and alone.
  • The caves are a shelter, you’ve always been told. The caves are where your ancestors hid from the Turks, where brave priests preserved our language and traditions by teaching them to daring children in the middle of the night. When the moon rises, you can still hear their whispering. 
  • The parties run late. The music echoes from the town center as you leave the orange glow of the festival behind, chased by drunken British schoolboys on their spring break. You weave through the twisting alleys of the village until you reach the sea. The Aegean is a friend. She will gladly swallow them. 
  • A deep melancholy has taken you. Your body is weak right down to your bones. Your grandmother, dressed all in black, gives you a necklace bearing a bright blue eye. She spits on you, then gathers the women in the garden for murmured prayers. Together, they chase away the Evil Eye. 
  • Families huddle in the cement skeleton of an unfinished construction project, making a post-apocalyptic city out of a forgotten foreign investment. A message has been spray-painted onto the crumbling wall: “ΔΕΝ ΠΑΡΑΔΙΔΟΝΤΑΙ ΠΟΤΕ”. Never surrender
ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi - the basics

The Hawaiian language is as interesting as it is complicated, and it’s impossible to travel to the Hawaiian islands without encountering it in some form or another. Whether it’s on street signs, landmarks, or simply trying to explain which island you’ll be visiting, you will be using the language in some way during a visit.

Let’s start with the basics:

The Hawaiian language consists of 13 letters, including five vowels, seven consonants, and a glottal stop known as an `okina.

Vowels are usually pronounced in much the same way one would expect to pronounce them in Spanish:

  1. a ——> “ah”
  2. e ——> “eh”
  3. i ——-> “ee”
  4. o ——> “oh”
  5. u ——> “ooh”

Consonants in the Hawaiian language are:

  1. K
  2. L
  3. W
  4. H
  5. M
  6. N
  7. P

And lastly, there’s the `okina. The `okina represents a glottal stop. Say the phrase “uh-oh” out loud. Do you hear the little break between “uh” and “oh”? That’s a glottal stop. The `okina is represented with a ` , similar to a backwards apostrophe. Not all fonts allow for this, though, so a regular apostrophe is often used in its place.

All consonants in the Hawaiian language are followed by a vowel. That is to say, a word cannot end in a consonant, and two consonants cannot be written or spoken together.

It is possible, though, to have two vowels next to each other. Similar vowels, like two a’s, will have an `okina between them, like in the word “ʻaʻā” (pronounced “ah-ah”), which means “stony, rough lava.” Dissimilar vowels, on the other hand, lead a speaker to form different vowel sounds that are not possible using the standard vowels on their own. “Pau,” for example, is often used today to mean “done” or “finished,” and is pronounced like the English word “pow.” Similarly, “Lanikai” on the island of O`ahu, is pronounced “lah-nee-kye.”

The individual vowels are still pronounced, but because of the way they are spoken together, they form a different sound. Take “pau” again, for instance. Technically, it’s pronounced “pah-ooh,” but when spoken, it forms a “pow” sound like we use in English.

(Photo via Wikipedia)

Captain Cook discovered the Hawaiian islands in 1778, marking the first time the language had ever been heard by Europeans. Prior to discovery, and for a period of time immediately afterwards, the Hawaiian language had no written representation other than picture symbols in the form of petroglyphs.

(Photo via

It wasn’t until the arrival of other Europeans and protestant missionaries in the early 1800s that the Hawaiian language took a written form. The missionaries used written language as a means of spreading their religion, and interestingly, it led to a nearly 100% literacy rate, a feat which many countries today have trouble emulating.

These missionaries weren’t all good for the language, though. Many of the missionaries discouraged the use of the Hawaiian language, and many parents saw the language as a barrier to success for their children. As a result, the number of Hawaiian speaking individuals dropped from 37,000 to just 1,000 around the turn of the 20th century.

This loss of culture led to a revival for the language, though, and in 1949, the first Hawaiian-language dictionary was printed. Also around this time, Hawaiian-immersion preschools began to form, which took English-speaking children and put them into a formal schooling environment in which the Hawaiian language was used.

Still, in 1997, there were only 2,000 native speakers of Hawaiian left in the islands. The late 90s and early 2000s brought a new push towards reviving the language, and its numbers are now above 24,000.

The island of Ni`ihau, is currently the only location in the world where the Hawaiian language is predominant. On Ni`ihau, children are raised speaking Hawaiian, and around the age of 8, they begin to learn English. The preservation of the language on this island is only possible because of its status as a privately owned property and the fact that outsiders are prevented from communicating with residents.

While there are many more nuances to the Hawaiian language, these are simply the basics. After reading this, you should be able to pronounce street names like Waiānuenue Avenue, Kawaihae Road, and Haleakalā Highway, right?

Maybe not yet, but with a little practice you could do so without any trouble at all.

anonymous asked:

I thought that Latvia was a made up country until I googled it a few minutes ago.

Interestingly Latvian is one of the two large Baltic languages- the other is Lithuanian. Lithuanian is apparently the most conservative language around, linguistically speaking, and shares a lot with proto-indo-european. So much so that Antoine Meillet once said that “Anyone wishing to hear how Indo-Europeans spoke should come and listen to a Lithuanian peasant”. This is really interesting because it means that Baltic languages preserve these now-archaic features that stayed in Sanskrit. This is really, really cool if you happen to be interested in linguistics (or speak Latvian/Lithuanian/another Baltic language). These languages have features found all the way down in India, but they’re in North Europe. Shows how truly strong the indo-european roots are.

Not only is Ra’s al Ghul’s uncle still alive, he’s still upset about the name Percival and his nephew’s decision to erase their tribal past. He’s dedicated the last five hundred years to preserving and resurrecting languages and regularly leads people to translation keys. Despite Ra’s’ efforts, his long dead native language now has more people fluent in than ever before.

Here we go!

I decided to get a little more experimental this time. The idea of the two of them talking through the walls was an invitation to do a section cut drawing. I decided to take it all the way, and give it touches similar to what you see in certain types of digital architectural concept images. From there I just added textures that seemed interesting and dynamic.

The preservation of the halftone/newspaper print style coloring of Twi and Rainbow preserves that visual language, and contrasts it to the imagined world between the walls. The ductwork is slightly visible to them, so they can get a more realistic impression of it. The spaces between them are left to their imagination, hence it being more abstract rather than a realistic depiction of the sort of machinery and structure you would find between walls.

This was very fun to draw and color, and I’d certainly like to try an image like this again.

Plus…there’s a bit of a reference to literary horror in this.

Can you catch it?