August 15, 2022 |

Thousands of Languages dying so learn hebrew

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Dying languages
Researchers say many languages are dying By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - When every known speaker of the language Amurdag gets together, there's still no one to talk to.

Native Australian Charlie Mungulda is the only person alive known to speak that language, one of thousands around the world on the brink of extinction.

From rural Australia to Siberia to Oklahoma, languages that embody the history and traditions of people are dying, researchers said Tuesday.

While there are an estimated 7,000 languages spoken around the world today, one of them dies out about every two weeks, according to linguistic experts struggling to save at least some of them.

Five hotspots where languages are most endangered were listed Tuesday in a briefing by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and the National Geographic Society.

In addition to northern Australia, eastern Siberia and Oklahoma and the U.S. Southwest, many native languages are endangered in South America — Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia — as well as the area including British Columbia, and the states of Washington and Oregon.

Losing languages means losing knowledge, says K. David Harrison, an assistant professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College.

"When we lose a language, we lose centuries of human thinking about time, seasons, sea creatures, reindeer, edible flowers, mathematics, landscapes, myths, music, the unknown and the everyday."

As many as half of the current languages have never been written down, he estimated.

That means, if the last speaker of many of these vanished tomorrow, the language would be lost because there is no dictionary, no literature, no text of any kind, he said.

Rabbi Reflects: SO LEARN HEBREW-Its the language of the BIBLE

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Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg and hs wife Rabbi Avigail Ginsburg, have developed amny online jewih eductional programs including conversio to Judaism, hebrew scool, bnai mitzvah training, para rabbis, Introduction to Judaism, and Judaism explained to Christians. He has developed over 550 videos of...

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