Lost Language Day? -Reply

Fri May 17 14:33:01 UTC 1996

I think that is a great idea.  Questions:
Who would make up the flyers?  How
would they be distributed?                             

>>> T.Matthew Ciolek
<tmciolek at coombs.anu.edu.au> 05/16/96
06:09pm >>>
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BOUNCE endangered-languages-l:
Non-member submission from
[dcheezem at alaska.net (David Cheezem)]
From: dcheezem at alaska.net (David
Subject: Lost Language Day?

I am not a linguist.  I am a poet working
toward his Masters in Fine Arts in
Creative Writing at the University of
Alaska Anchorage.  But I've been
watching the endangered language
listerve with interest and I wonder what
you think of this idea:

The annual AIDS awareness day called
"A day without art" is very effective and
powerful because of its emphasis on
what is being withheld from the world
when a human being is lost to the
disease.  I think it would be just as
powerful to have an international day
mourning the loss of languages and
cultures -- another kind of withholding. 
You could have flyers appear in many
major cities with an untranslated bit of a
lost language.

It could read something like this:

                      You will never read these
words again

The following is a statement written in
the __________ language. The last known
speaker of this langauge was
______________ who died in 19__.  We are
not translating this statement because in
a small way, we want to emphasize the
loss of meaning and knowledge that
ocurrs when a language dies.
Speaking the words will not bring back
the fabric of life that accompanies a living
language, so we share them only in

<a short untranslated text, phonetically

For more information about the effort to
save endngered languages and cultures,
write ______.


Each flyer could have text from a
different language.
Any thoughts?

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