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The Kihnu dialect is Preserved on Estonia’s Mother Tongue Day: Standard Estonian is spoken by roughly 1.1 million people. Closely related to Finnish and more distantly to Hungarian, Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group, which includes about 40 languages spoken by around 20 million people that are mainly thought to have originated thousands of years ago in the Ural mountains, now in western Russia.
Gaelic dialects ‘dying out’, Edinburgh academic warns
All local dialects of Gaelic will die out except two, according to research by a University of Edinburgh academic. Dr Will Lamb suggests only the Gaelic of Lewis and South Uist will be strong enough to survive in the future. He said one of the reasons was that these dialects were dominant in Gaelic medium education.
American dialects from A to Z - The Dictionary of American Regional English to be completed in 2012
When Fred Cassidy, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, was named chief editor of a dictionary project to track American dialects in 1962, he had a faster timetable in mind. The Dictionary of American Regional English began in earnest a few years later, when 80 fieldworkers armed with elaborate questionnaires spread out to more than a thousand communities around the country. Some researchers drove green Dodge vans called “Word Wagons,” equipped with clunky reel-to-reel tape recorders—the better to document every uff-da (a Norwegian exclamation in the Upper Midwest) and pitch-in (an Indiana term for a potluck).
Is Proper English Dying? And Should Us Care? — English is ubiquitous. It has an estimated 1.5 billion speakers. In China alone, 400 million people are currently actively learning English, or nearly a third of the population. So, in a few years, China will have more English-speakers than America. But learning English isn’t the same as knowing English, and knowing English isn’t the same as being able to speak good, or even intelligible English… A superb article from the WSJ on the evolution of of the English language
Interesting study of the impact substandard dialects, such as Spanglish and African-American dialect have on English literacy - by linguist, Lucy Silver.
She concludes that, “although they create problems, they have been misunderstood by our educational system. They must be acknowledged and might even be incorporated into classroom instruction.”
The article, “Dealing With Regional Dialects & Languages In Global Internet Marketing” examines the advantage a global company can have by marketing itself online using local dialects.
The tricky countries are those with regional languages most marketers have not heard of. Take Spain, for instance. You shouldn’t think of the Catalan language spoken in Catalonia as a “dialect” but as a language opportunity and deal with it as such. The same is true of Basque and Galician which with Catalan are official languages of the regions they relate to.
Catalan is given an “official” status by Google too — since you can use Google’s keyword tool to check keyword search volumes in Spain. Galician and Basque are sadly not available via that route but do exist in Google Translate. A very interesting read…
Swiss Effort to Save a Language Opens a Rift: Villagers Debate Whether to Stick to Dialects of Ancient Roman Tongue or a Cobbled-Together ‘Esperanto’
ZURICH—As kids return to school in Val Müstair, high in the eastern tip of the Swiss Alps, they are also entering the front lines of a bitter battle: the fight over the future of a centuries-old Latin dialect.
The municipality (population 1,600) is a stronghold of Romansh, a language imported by Roman occupiers 2,000 years ago and still spoken by most locals. Today, its villagers are up in arms over authorities’ attempt to push a sort of Romansh Esperanto on locals—one that officials defend as the only chance to save one of the last living relics of the Latin language.
The tiff originated in 1996, when Romansh became Switzerland’s fourth official language even though only roughly 60,000 people speak it.
Of the 670 indigenous languages and dialects spoken in Australia in 1788, less than 20 are still in daily use. Tragic. Thankfullly, today, i think all [most] countries recognize that the existence of multicultural and the existence of traditional ethnicities do not embarrass a nation, they enrich it. Click link below for a great article…