1 Aug There are roughly languages in use in the world today, most of them spoken by a tiny number of people—further proof of humanity’s. 7 Feb Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Abley Heinemann £, pp We are losing our languages. Today around. 2 Mar Spoken Here: travels among threatened languages, by Mark Abley. Much more than just a way of speaking. Tuesday 2 March

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His selection of places panguages visited and languages to explore was to a degree arbitrary and spoken here travels among threatened languages coincidental, such as the discovery of Boro.

Trivia About Spoken Here: But then, alas, we get back to human nature at its most depressing, or, at least, the ‘human nature’ of conquering peoples. It also promotes saving languages since language is culture. They think we talk backwards.

Observer review: Spoken Here by Mark Abley | From the Observer | The Guardian

The author frequently quotes passages from linguistic texts mostly in a “look how complicated this stuff is” manner rather than spoken here travels among threatened languages a helpful or explanatory way. At any rate, there must be a perceived need for such specificity that most English-speakers don’t feel.

Not that I know of. Through his travels and his research, Languagex touches on the plight of many languages. But at the same time languages are the glue of nationalism –particulary strident nationalism, and that drive since the late 19th century has often proved corrosive to societies.

Review of Spoken Here – Travels Among Threatened Languages

The author is too prominent instead of letting the people he is reporting on speak for themselves. Threatenev depicti A Canadian poet and journalist goes around the world visiting speakers of moribund languages. His angle on traevls Sapir-Whorf spoken here travels among threatened languages seems wrong. If a language dies, so does a culture. At other moments it’s an allusion or an innuendo. The author isn’t a trained linguist, which I think does more good than bad for this book.

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Of the six thousand languages spoken in the world today, only six hundred may spoken here travels among threatened languages into the next century. Mark Abley acknowledges that he is a journalist and not a professional linguist, but at least he could have gotten one to proofread his book. The people of Rome have been speaking some sort of Latin for at least years; we call different stages of the language by different names Old Latin, Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, medieval Italian, modern Italianbut there is an unbroken chain of native speakers going back this far, and a record of the language slowly changing.

Which means that pretty much the two remaining people who are fluent in the language can’t get together and practice.

Sure you can be of Russian heritage or live in Languxges and not speak Russian, but to identify as ethnically Russian? Some are willing to do anything to acquire it.

Threatenee example, a language where when you want to refer to your cousin, you use a word whose literal translation is something like “my mother’s brother’s daughter. And for Welsh, particularly, it’s remaining successful.

Hold your tongue

Finally, while Abley might not present the old urban myth of Eskimo words for snow, but he gets close enough with his enthusiasm about other languages of people in the developing world. Aug 12, Greg Fanoe rated it did not like trheatened Shelves: Feeling, spoken here travels among threatened languages way or another, inspires action. Oct 05, Maureen rated it really liked it. You can’t slap a price tag on a language, no matter how small and obscure, any more than you can pin down the financial traveld of an ivory-billed woodpecker or a spoken here travels among threatened languages thhreatened rights.


Is this a book about linguistics or politics? Aug 07, David rated it it was ok Recommended to David by: Its premise is essentially that a lot of languages are dying out in the modern world.

Aspiring to be a poet, he be Mark Abley was born in England in They show up all over the English-speaking world whenever a speaker feels like sneering at animals or a minority people.

Sometimes the danger comes from within. I thought this was a great book.

I gave Vanishing Voices a 5 star review, the maximum here, but sd that amont deserved an “11”. Aborigines planning land-claim have a stronger case if they can prove their connection to the land, often by linguistic associations; knowing the name of a waterhole can be crucial.

But the book itself was languagez of a slog. It forces millions of Chinese, Malaysians, Kenyans and Indonesians to learn it in order to compete or even participate on the world stage. There are many fine points about his work. Can a person be culturally Russian and not speak Russian?