gscole at ARK.SHIP.EDU
Tue Jun 5 18:16:02 UTC 2001
In light of recent comments on this list, it might be worthwhile to note
a news item that appears in today's (5 June 2001) Wall Street Journal,
on pages B1, B4: Rosetta Disk Is Foundation's Gift to Future Linguists,
written by David Bank.
The article discusses the work of the Long Now Foundation, of San
Francisco, which "is leading an effort to create a modern Rosetta Stone,
a collection of 1,000 translations of the first three chapters of the
book of Genesis into languages from Abkhaz to Zulu." Genesis was
selected because it is "the world's most widely translated text...."
"When the collection (of texts) is completed next year, roughly 30,000
pages of linguistic submissions will be inscribed by ion beams in tiny
text onto three-inch nickel disks and encased in glass balls."
The foundation's website is:
"Jim Mason, the anthropologist directing the project calls it 'the Linux
of linguistics'..." According to the article, "Linguistic experts say
by 2100, up to 90 percent of the world's 6,000 to 7,000 languages are in
danger of becoming moribund, or even extinct. . . One language becomes
moribund every 10 days, on average, experts say...."
The above information is sent for informational purposes; I am not
qualified to address the specifics of the article.
George Cole gscole at ark.ship.edu
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