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Some thoughts on Dying languages

Another kudos to No Sword for a great
post on dying human languages of today. If I ever meet up with you, I should
buy you a beer and see what else is lurking in your head. Here’s
some tidbits:

Learning a language isn’t like checking tuna cans for the smiling dolphin
symbol. It takes time and effort to get anywhere, and by that I mean hours
and hours every week — ideally every day — for years. Unless you are
already part of a dying language community, your ability to make a
positive contribution to it is next to nil.

So, in summary, the conditions required for so many different languages to
thrive are long gone, and thus the languages are dying. It’s natural.
It’s what you would expect based on human psychology and the current situation.
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s good for humanity. It’s natural for us to
get small pox, bear half a dozen children, and then die at 40, but most of
us don’t stand for that any more, either. So although language extinction
today is generally a natural process, we should and can still fight it.

Good observation. I have to say I agree completely with this
observation. Unless you’re someone as talented as Kenneth Hale
the amount of work once can do is rather limited. But it doesn’t
mean you should roll over and take it lying down.

Read it yourself

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