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  • Languages don't just die naturally.

  • People abandon mother tongues, because they're forced to.

  • Often, the pressure is political.

  • In 1892,

  • the US Army general Richard Henry Pratt

  • argued that killing indigenous cultures

  • was the only alternative to killing indigenous people.

  • "Kill the Indian," he said, "but save the man."

  • And until 1978, the government did just that,

  • removing indigenous children from their families

  • and forcing them into boarding schools where they were given English names

  • and punished for speaking their languages.

  • Assimilation was a compliment to genocide.

  • Seven thousand languages are alive today,

  • but few are recognized by their own governments

  • or supported online.

  • So for people from the vast majority of cultures,

  • globalization remains profoundly alienating.

  • It means giving up your language for someone else's.

  • And if nothing changes,

  • as many as 3,000 languages could disappear in 80 years.

  • But things are changing.

  • Around the world,

  • people are reviving ancestral languages

  • and rebuilding their cultures.

  • As far as we know,

  • language reclamation began in the 1800s when, at a time of rising antisemitism,

  • Jewish communities looked to their ancestral language, Hebrew,

  • as a means of cultural revival.

  • And though it had been dormant for over 1,000 years,

  • it was well preserved in books of Jewish religion and philosophy.

  • So Jewish activists studied and taught it to their children,

  • raising the first native speakers in nearly 100 generations.

  • Today, it's the mother tongue of five million Jews.

  • And at least for me,

  • an assimilated English-speaking member of the Jewish diaspora,

  • a pillar of cultural sovereignty.

  • Two thousand years later,

  • we're still here.

  • Now, until recently,

  • Hebrew's reawakening was an anomaly.

  • Few languages are as well preserved as ours was,

  • and the creation of Israel,

  • the first Jewish state in over 1,000 years,

  • provided a space for Hebrew's daily use.

  • In other words, most cultures just weren't given a chance.

  • (Video) Good evening, I'm Elizabeth

  • and I live in Cornwall.

  • That was Cornish,

  • the ancestral language of Cornwall,

  • which today is technically a county in southern England.

  • In the 1900s, Cornish activists fought for their culture.

  • The language had been dormant for over 100 years,

  • but they used old books and plays to teach it to their children.

  • However, this new generation of Cornish speakers

  • was scattered across Cornwall

  • and unable to use the language freely.

  • By the 1990s, Cornish had reawakened,

  • but it wasn't thriving.

  • Then, in the early 2000s, Cornish speakers found one another online

  • and leveraged digital spaces to speak on a daily basis.

  • From there, they organized weekly or monthly events

  • where they could gather and speak in public.

  • Today, some schools teach Cornish.

  • There are Cornish language signs,

  • ice-cream commercials,

  • Wikipedia, and even memes.

  • (Laughter)

  • (Laughter)

  • And with their language once again intact,

  • the people of Cornwall have secured recognition

  • as a Celtic nation alongside Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

  • They stared down centuries of forced assimilation

  • and said, "We're not a county in England.

  • We're a people in our own right.

  • And we're still here."

  • And they're not the only ones.

  • The Tunica-Biloxi tribe of Louisiana is reviving their ancestral language.

  • (Video) My name is Teyanna.

  • My friends, they call me "Quiet Storm."

  • It started in the 1980s,

  • when Donna Pierite and her family

  • started taking trips to Baton Rouge and New Orleans

  • to photocopy old dictionaries stored away in university archives.

  • The goal was to study Tunica

  • and teach it to the children and share it with the community.

  • Today, they're leading a Tunica renaissance.

  • Since 2014, there are nearly 100 speakers in language immersion classes,

  • and according to a 2017 census,

  • 32 new fluent speakers,

  • some of whom, like Donna's daughter Elisabeth,

  • are teaching Tunica to their children.

  • These new speakers are creating content,

  • Facebook videos and also memes.

  • (Laughter)

  • (Laughter)

  • (Laughter)

  • And the more they publish,

  • the more they inspire other Tunica people to get involved.

  • Recently, a tribal member living in Texas wrote Elisabeth on Facebook,

  • asking how to say "bless these lands."

  • It was for a yard sign,

  • so she could show her neighbors that her culture is alive

  • and thriving today.

  • Now, Hebrew, Cornish and Tunica

  • are just three examples from a groundswell of language activism on every continent.

  • And whether they'rerriais speakers from the Channel Isles,

  • or Kenyan sign language speakers from Nairobi,

  • all communities working to preserve or reclaim a language

  • have one thing in common: media,

  • so their language can be shared and taught.

  • And as the internet grows,

  • expanding media access and creation,

  • preserving and reclaiming ancestral languages

  • is now more possible than ever.

  • So what are your ancestral languages?

  • Mine are Hebrew, Yiddish, Hungarian and Scottish Gaelic,

  • even though I was raised in English.

  • And luckily for me, each of these languages is available online.

  • Hebrew in particular -- it came installed on my iPhone,

  • it's supported by Google Translate,

  • it even has autocorrect.

  • And while your language may not be as widely supported,

  • I encourage you to investigate,

  • because chances are, someone, somewhere, has started getting it online.

  • Reclaiming your language and embracing your culture

  • is a powerful way to be yourself in the age of globalization,

  • because as I recently learned to say in Hebrew,

  • "'nḥnw 'dyyn k'n" --

  • we're still here.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Languages don't just die naturally.

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TED】Daniel Bögre Udell: How to save a language from extinction (How to save a language from extinction | Daniel Bögre Udell) (【TED】Daniel Bögre Udell: How to save a language from extinction (How to save a language from extinction | Daniel Bögre Udell))

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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