Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Google is saving extinct language's, hurray for Google!!!

What language do you have?

Just when the world needs a hero, for real people all over the world who are caught up in progress, up steps Google, and they are in the process of saving 3000 languages, including a few hundred Australian languages as part of their endangered languages project

Half of the 7000 languages spoken today in the world were not expected to survive in the coming years.

Thousands of languages were spoken in North and South America prior to first contact with Europeans between the beginning of the 11th century

I was watching Wade Davis talk about cultures and the significance of language in how indigenous people see and experience the world, take a look below.

Introducing Wade Davis

I was reading a book about Irish Spirituality called 'Anam Chara' by John O'Donohue
 The anam cara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the friend of your soul.
 I remember reading in this book that the 3 things that make that make you who you are are
  1. Your attachment to your land
  2. Your culture
  3. Your language
How interesting that that Australia has more extinct languages than anywhere else in the world, about 2000 languages extinct, how interesting.

And now Google is about to do us all a favor and record a few hundred languages for future generations to come so that they might understand the the land and culture in the same way the indigenous people understand life.

Hip hip hurrah for Google, this is the project that this century will be remembered for!

Languages have structure, they have words, words have deep meaning and long histories, the study of the history of words is called etymology

It amazes me how English borrows words from other languages from all over the world, they are called 'loan words', check out the translation examples in the history of English, the English we speak has been on a bit of a journey from the following
  1. Old English
  2. Middle English
  3. Early Modern English
  4. Modern English  
Who knows what journeys all these indigenous languages have been on, do they even have passports?

Broken Irish is better than clever English

My own country Ireland is on the list for Google, it would appear Irish is in the endangered category, the Irish language has a history too, its now the 3rd most spoken language in Ireland

When the census is done in Ireland, the amount of people that 'think' they are fluent is staggering, something is better than nothing, if you 'think' you are fluent in Irish, that's better than nothing, it's a start and a half a loaf of bread is better than no bread, but maybe not if you work in the Census office?

Take a look at the top 10 rare languages

A language gives you an identity, when you think about how languages might evolve, to lose them due to the western culture idea of progress, is completely illogical, we are selling our souls and becoming strangers to ourselves.

'Congratulations again for everybody at Google', or using translate.google.com
Comhghairdeas arĂ­s do gach duine ag Google

Who's going to save Google?

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