Published Date 2/24/12 11:38 AM
Endangered languages are increasingly depending on digital media for their survival as their native speakers are aging and dying. Older fluent speakers of indigenous languages such as Tuvan, a language spoken by the nomadic people of Siberia and Mongolia, and Siletz Dee-ni, a language of the indigenous people of Oregon’s Siletz Valley, are using a range of technologies to teach young people in their communities and preserve their languages, including texting, iPhone applications, Facebook, and YouTube. K. David Harrison, an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College and a National Geographic Fellow, says that using such technologies can provide small cultures with a global audience. To date, He has produced eight talking dictionaries in endangered languages with National Geographic. The Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages estimates that the last fluent speaker of a native language passes, on average, every two weeks.
(BBC)(Siletz Talking Dictionary)(Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages)