In Amherst, with a population of over 30,000 residents, we speak more than 40 languages. There are at least 6,000 languages spoken around the world today. But by the end of this century, fewer than half of them will remain. These films highlight the importance of language preservation.
SOME OF THE LANGUAGES WE SPEAK IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ALONE...
Albanian Arabic Armenian Canton Cape Verdean Chichewa Chinese Crioulo Dutch English Farsi French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Italian Japanese Kashmiri Khmer/Khmai Korean Mandarin Nepali Persian Portuguese Russian Sign Language Spanish Swahili Tamil Tibetan Turkish Ukranian Urdu Vietnamese Yoruba
Who Speaks Wukchumni? By Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
In the progression from one generation to the next, there is the danger of losing much of the culture that came before it. Customs fade, traditions die out. And, in the case of Marie Wilcox— the last fluent speaker of a Native American dialect—an entire language is on the verge of becoming extinct.
Director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee from Go Project Films captures Marie Wilcox’s efforts to archive her native Wukchumni language in this poetic short documentary created last year for the New York Times’s op-docs program. It’s a simple story—one that poetically and succinctly captures the importance of preserving the past in order to provide for the future. The tapestry that humans have created—all that we have built to represent who we are and where come from—is conveyed through language. Words and phrases are the reference material for an entire culture. Communication is the key to understanding.
Language Matters By David Grubin
Language Matters asks what we lose when languages die and how we can save them. It was filmed around the world: on a remote island off the coast of Australia, where 400 Aboriginal people speak 10 different languages, all at riskk; in Wales, where Welsh, once in danger, is today making a comeback; and in Hawaii, where a group of Hawaiian activists is fighting to save the native tongue.