Get Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages PDF

By Mark Abley

Even if at the different facet of the realm or in our personal yard, languages in all places are fading into oblivion. Mark Abley explores what the human relatives stands to lose — and explains why a few endangered languages proceed to thrive.

Within the following couple of generations, many of the world’s 6000 languages will vanish, due in most cases to the unstoppable tide of English. With an open brain and a well-worn passport, award-winning journalist and poet Mark Abley tells unique and important tales approximately why languages subject. From Oklahoma to Provence, aboriginal Australia to Baffin Island, the cultures are notably assorted, however the difficulties of shrinking linguistic and cultural richness are painfully comparable. Abley’s research offers a beautiful glimpse of the wonder and intricacies of languages like Yiddish and Yuchi, Mohawk and Manx, Inuktitut and Provençal. extra importantly, it bargains a sympathetic and remarkable portrait of the folks who nonetheless converse languages less than threat.

When a language dies out, long gone too are tales which have been advised for hundreds of years, particular methods of seeing the area, and even perhaps methods of fixing difficulties either huge and small. Abley believes we needs to see languages as ample assets of richness, ask yourself and value. And he exhibits that desire nonetheless exists: that the selection of even one individual can revive an entire language and its tradition, within the strategy growing whatever new, altering and alive — precisely what languages do top.

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Additional resources for Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages

Example text

As strategically important towns and noble estates fell to the Ottoman troops, Commander Sobieski prepared for war. Lulled into complacency by the poor Polish defence of years past, the Turks were taken by surprise by the blow that Jan Sobieski dealt them one bitterly cold day in November 1673. The Ottoman troops were annihilated: of the 30,000 Turkish soldiers who woke up in the fortress town of Chocim on 10 November only 4,000 survived to see the morning of the 11th. Such was Sobieski’s tactical brilliance that it would be feˆted two hundred years later by no less a military expert than Carl von Clausewitz.

19 CHAPTER 2 OF BAGELS AND KINGS According to legend, the bagel was produced as a tribute to Jan Sobieski, King of Poland, who had just saved Austria from an onslaught by Turkish invaders. In gratitude, a local baker shaped yeast dough into the shape of a stirrup to honor him and called it a ‘beugel’ (Austrian for stirrup). The roll was a hit and it’s [sic] shape soon evolved into the one we know today and it’s [sic] name converted to ‘Bagel’. ‘History of Bagels’ handout, Boston area supermarket Building 19 It would not be surprising if, on his death bed, Jan Sobieski, King of Poland, had hoped that he would be remembered by posterity for his magnificent defeat of the Turks in Vienna in 1683.

But not for much longer. In 1648 embittered Cossack noblemen led by Bohdan Khmielnytsky launched an uprising of murderously resentful peasants against the Polish landlords in the southeast of the OF BAGELS AND KINGS 29 country. As the landlords’ agents, or the people with whom the peasants had the most regular contact, Jews were especial targets of the marauding gangs. The massacres were widespread and the violence savage: tens of thousands of Jews were killed. This marked the beginning of a period so disastrous that it came to be referred to as ‘the Deluge’.

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Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Abley

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