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Thread: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

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    Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Dying Languages, Found in New York - NYTimes.com

    “Whole villages were emptied,” said Valnea Smilovic, 59, who came to the United States in the 1960s with her parents and her brother and sister. “Most of us are here now in this country.”

    Mrs. Smilovic still speaks in Vlashki with her mother, 92, who knows little English, as well as her siblings. “Not too much, though,” Mrs. Smilovic said, because her husband speaks only Croatian and her son, who was born in the United States, speaks English and a smattering of Croatian.

    “Do I worry that our culture is getting lost?” Mrs. Smilovic asked. “As I get older, I’m thinking more about stuff like that. Most of the older people die away and the language dies with them.”

    Several years ago, one of her cousins, Zvjezdana Vrzic, an Istrian-born adjunct professor of linguistics at New York University, organized a meeting in Queens about preserving Vlashki. She was stunned by the turnout of about 100 people.

    “A language reflects a singular nature of a people speaking it,” said Professor Vrzic, who recently published an audio Vlashki phrasebook and is working on an online Vlashki-Croatian-English dictionary.
    In a country where we have bigoted politicians screaming that first generation immigrants need to forget their cultures, languages etc and 'assimilate' ours - it is refreshing to see people who still realize the importance of the role that multiculturalism has played in this country.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 04-29-10 at 02:29 AM.
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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    In a country where we have bigoted politicians screaming that first generation immigrants need to forget their cultures, languages etc and 'assimilate' ours - it is refreshing to see people who still realize the importance of the role that multiculturalism has played in this country.
    NEW TITLE: The Misplaced Deference to Multiculturalism

    This clap-trap of multicultural is a sure way to screw the nation. Balkanize it so we lose our American traditions and customs. It's a cornerstone of the left's attempt to fragment our society, and pit one against the other. Obama and his clan are doing just that at the moment. The Uniter... LOL... has been revealed as what he always was; a race pimp set on division.

    Nobody said anyone need forget their cultures... but seeing as they are coming to America it would be wise to adopt our traditions and customs as Americans. Learning our language is a good start to a successful life here.

    Why come here if you're not ready to embrace America the Beautiful, said the man with two immigrant parents who did just that. They never forgot where the came from (impossible), but they thought it critical to learn the language of the land, its customs and assimilate. To become Americans... not insert origin-Americans.

    Multiculturalism: what is wrong with embracing American culture if you come here? How about as little tolerance and respect from those coming to our country?

    Indigo Jo Blogs — The fallacy of multiculturalism helping terrorism
    If the UK is a “fragmenting” society with less sense of a national identity than Sweden or the Netherlands, that is a simple matter of how it is composed - of a union of peoples rather than a nation-state as such. It is far from the only “post-Christian” society in Europe or the western world. Many would dispute that “the majority” failed to “lay down the line to immigrant communities” out of “misplaced deference to ‘multiculturalism’”; ...
    .
    The Clintons are what happens...
    when you have NO MORAL COMPASS.

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
    The Uniter... LOL... has been revealed as what he always was; a race pimp set on division.
    Best, most concise, description I've seen of Obama yet. Congrats.

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Dying Languages, Found in New York - NYTimes.com



    In a country where we have bigoted politicians screaming that first generation immigrants need to forget their cultures, languages etc and 'assimilate' ours - it is refreshing to see people who still realize the importance of the role that multiculturalism has played in this country.
    All cultures and languages eventually die. If no one speaks it, there's not point in "preserving" it. It's become useless and outdated and may go the way of the dinosaur.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    I don't see anyone asking immigrants to forget their cultures. America's pride has always been being known as a melting pot of peoples and cultures. However (and rightly so), we do require immigrants to know English so that they can get by in our English speaking society.

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    All cultures and languages eventually die. If no one speaks it, there's not point in "preserving" it. It's become useless and outdated and may go the way of the dinosaur.
    It's easy to say that when you come from a dominant culture that has no fear of extinction.

    I think we should learn all we can from language and cultures that are on the verge of extinction. Language isn't just words, it's a way of perceiving the world which is unique.

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    It's easy to say that when you come from a dominant culture that has no fear of extinction.

    I think we should learn all we can from language and cultures that are on the verge of extinction. Language isn't just words, it's a way of perceiving the world which is unique.
    You can document it all you want. But there will be new languages and cultures which come about and there's no point lugging around dead languages for anything other than historical study and in case you find things in that language and need to decipher it. Database all you want, but keeping it "alive" for the sake of it being "alive" is dumb. Lots of better things to do.

    English will take this route too, as will America. Nothing is infinite, everything dies. Go with it while it lives and do what you need to, but understand that everything evolves, no exceptions.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    It's easy to say that when you come from a dominant culture that has no fear of extinction.

    I think we should learn all we can from language and cultures that are on the verge of extinction. Language isn't just words, it's a way of perceiving the world which is unique.
    It's a worthy academic pursuit. In this age of information gathering and dissemination, why would anyone object to documenting this language and culture? There is a project to preserve American Indian language and culture:

    AAIA: Language Preservation/Retention

    I applaud my own family's efforts to adapt to their new country, after immigrating to the U.S., one great-grandfather never spoke German again out of disgust at the Kaiser, but I'm also saddened that our stories were lost in the process. I would have liked to have known more about their lives before they arrived here.
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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    You can document it all you want. But there will be new languages and cultures which come about and there's no point lugging around dead languages for anything other than historical study and in case you find things in that language and need to decipher it. Database all you want, but keeping it "alive" for the sake of it being "alive" is dumb. Lots of better things to do.
    I never really said anything about trying to keep them alive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    English will take this route too, as will America. Nothing is infinite, everything dies. Go with it while it lives and do what you need to, but understand that everything evolves, no exceptions.
    I'm not disagreeing... but if people from these cultures want to make an invested effort in keeping their language and culture alive, I don't see a problem with it, especially when those languages are being lost because of colonization and genocide.

    The dominant societies do sometimes take an active role in the preservation of smaller cultures and languages. It's just because we prefer them, for some reason.

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    Re: Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I never really said anything about trying to keep them alive?
    I believe it was the premise of the article to which I was responding originally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I'm not disagreeing... but if people from these cultures want to make an invested effort in keeping their language and culture alive, I don't see a problem with it, especially when those languages are being lost because of colonization and genocide.

    The dominant societies do sometimes take an active role in the preservation of smaller cultures and languages. It's just because we prefer them, for some reason.
    Things come and go for all sorts of reasons. I think it's good to database it all, to keep it somewhere. But we don't need to try to keep active dead languages. Some societies will do all they can to preserve their culture and language. Their business. But that culture and language exist. The ones which are dying out will die out. Individuals can do whatever they want. I just don't see it as something that would behoove the aggregated sum of us.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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