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The Linguists on PBS

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The Linguists on PBS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:37 am

The Linguists
Thursday, February 26, 2009

10 - 11:00 pm

This special chronicles the race of two scientists -- David Harrison and Greg Anderson -- to document languages on the verge of extinction. In Siberia, India and Bolivia, the linguists confront head-on the very forces silencing languages: racism, humiliation and violent economic unrest. Their journey takes them deep into the heart of the cultures, revealing communities at risk when a language dies. (CC, Stereo, HD, 5.1)
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Postby Slava » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:26 pm

Does anyone out there know if this is now available for Internet watching? It would be nice to see it some time.
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Postby William » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:17 pm

Without viewing the program it sounds a bit unbalanced to me Doc, based on the modicum of information you have supplied. Racism, humiliation, violent economic unrest? Frankly it sounds like the sort of left wing drivel so common on PBS. Is there another side to this story?
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Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:42 pm

Every time a language is lost, a wealth of cultural richness is lost. Those who loose their language have been robbed. We did that with many Amerind languages out of ignorance or neglect. Today people do it purposefully for several reasons. Racism, humiliation, and violent economic unrest are frequently not too strong words to use.

There is an organization that puts languages into writing that have always been verbal. Then they teach the people to read in their language. They translate the Bible into those languages. I once asked a lady who worked for this organization where she had worked. She said, "I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you." The work has to be done in secret because some countries forbid such activity. It is not because the do not want people to read the Bible. It is because the governments of these countries want the languages of their minority groups to die. That way they can have better control over them. I would name these countries but then I would have to kill you.

Although I have used a little levity in this posting, it really is a serious problem.
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