put minority lgs. on the map (was Criteria about endargement)

egunkaria egunka01 at sarenet.es
Tue Dec 10 10:25:02 UTC 1996

The discussion on criteria about endargement is really interesting. My name
is Luis Fernandez and I am journalist in Euskaldunon Egunkaria, the one and
only basque-language daily newspaper, and one of the few in an endangered

Trond Trosterud particullarly wrote:
>Minority language road signs
>Road signs and public other public sign in the minority language is a
>very important measure, as seen by the strong reactions of the
>majority popula-tion against them wherever they are introduced.
>Sometimes minority group members that have lost their language are
>among the strongest opponents to introducing minority language
>signs, perhaps because they in a way feel be-trayed by the country
>administration to whom they gave their language loyalty. Making
>minority languages visible is the most important effect of these signs,
>but they also teach how to write local place names, and they show the
>official name of public institutions in the minority language.

We Basques particullarly consider very important official signs.
GeoNative, a basque-english bilingual sites, gives listings of place-names
for quite a lot of minority and native languages. Tables are listed this way:
majority lg name / native name, minority lg name

You will find GeoNative at:

Some tables are about fully national languages (uzbek, german in South
Tirol...), others are endangered in various degrees (sardinian, sami...),
even some extinct lgs now being revived (manx). Mostly european cases but
hoping to add more native languages from all other the world. For now, only
one Native American table with Ojibwe names.

It is an amateur site (maintained by me and a friend, BTW), no scientific
purposes at all. Just a personal effort to help in a field we feel concerned.
If you know native place-names (or valuable references) for any endangered
lg or lg minority, write to us and we will put those names on GeoNative.
IMPORTANT: Do not Reply to the Mailing List or to the (From) Sender.
PLEASE send your replies to one of these adresses:
geonative at geocities.com
txoko at redestb.es
Perhaps this msg does not fit with the scholarly level of
discussion on Endangered L-list. Sorry to those who do not expect this kind
of personal site propaganda.

Just some lines to add a little bit about the reasons to create GeoNative.
The following is taken from the english Welcome page in the site.
Luistxo and Marije welcome you to GeoNative! We both are Basque and live in
the Basque Country, a little nation divided between two states: France and
Spain. We live in a beautiful city, Donostia (pop. 200.000). Don't try to
find it in the map. Surely, it's not there. You will find only the spanish
name of our city, not the original basque. We think that this is a pity. And
it's a pity too when we take a map and try to figure which is the gaelic
name of Edinburgh, or how do the indian majority of Bolivia call their towns
and cities... Minority and native languages are almost never present in the
maps. Geography ignores us.

We believe in the diversity of the world's cultures. We believe that
minorities, little nations and native cultures are as rich and valuable as
the big nations. There are several ways to preserve this diversity, the
treasure of the differenet human cultures. Two of those ways are:

* showing respect to the little nations, minorities and native cultures.
* increasing knowledge about them, not ignoring them.

And that is the purpose of GeoNative: promote respect and increase
knowledge. We focus on just one particular field: place names, toponymy. We
try to put our names and our languages right in the map. It is a modest
effort, but, for us, it has great symbolic value.

Luis Fernandez - Euskaldunon Egunkaria
egunka01 at sarenet.es
* Egunkariaren gune ez ofiziala
* Egunkariaren artxibo material batzuk

Home address: txoko at redestb.es
GeoNative: geonative at geocities.com

Endangered-Languages-L Forum: endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au
Web pages http://carmen.murdoch.edu.au/lists/endangered-languages-l/
Subscribe/unsubscribe and other commands: majordomo at carmen.murdoch.edu.au

More information about the Endangered-languages-l mailing list