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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.
Shanghai dialect fights to survive in modern China:
As the government maintains a decades-old drive to promote Mandarin Chinese as the official language, banning dialects from media broadcasts and schools, many young people are unable to fluently speak — or fully understand — the native Shanghai tongue.
An influx of migrants from outside Shanghai and the city’s drive to become more international have also combined to water down the local patois.
The dialects in the U.S. are showcased in all their glory in the Dictionary of American Regional English (Dare). Fifty years after its inception, the fifth and final volume of the Dare dictionary has been published. The Dare dictionary documents regional and folk speak; words, phrases and pronunciations which vary from one part of the country to the other.
Latvians Reject Russian as Second Language:
Voters in Latvia on Saturday overwhelmingly rejected a plan to adopt Russian as a second official language, defeating a constitutional referendum that underscored the ethnic and political tensions that remain more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Fascinating article about Kiezdeutsch, a new German dialect. Noticed by scholars in the 1990s but perhaps a decade or more older. It has its own grammatical rules, which can allow for greater expressiveness than standard German. By shoving the verb over, Kiezdeutsch can emphasise not just who is doing something but when. “Musstu” is a pungent fusion of “you” and “must”. Linguists are used to mourning the death of dialects; now they can watch one grow “in real time.” The youth of Germany are the drivers of this new language!
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.
Study: Vast majority of EU citizens are marginalized by dominance of English language
The European Union has 27 member countries and 23 official languages, but its official business is carried out primarily in one language — English. Yet the striking findings of a new study show that barely a third of the EU’s 500 million citizens speak English.
What about the other two-thirds? They are linguistically disenfranchised, say the study’s authors. For the EU’s non-English speakers, their native languages are of limited use in the EU’s political, legal, communal and business spheres.
Superb video that explains why this is happening.
Major Punjabi Dialects
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region (north western India and in north eastern Pakistan).
This article give interesting insight into the eleven major Punjabi dialects:
The following statistics give interesting background on the demographic foundations which create language diversity in Pakistan:
Pakistan is a State of four lands Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. It is a nation of four nationalities: Punjabis, Sindhis, Pukhtoon’s, and Balochis. Population percentages are: Punjabis (44.15%) 78.7 million, Pukhtoon’s (15.42%) 27.2 million, Sindhis (14.1%) 24.8 million, Saraikis (10.53%) 14.8 million, Muhajir’s (7.57%) 13.3 million, Balochis (3.57%) 6.3 million and Others (4.66%) 11.1 million.
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).
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