Skip to comments.Saving Endangered Languages from Being Forgotten [Siberian Ob-Ugrian languages Mansi and Khanti]
Posted on 01/31/2010 7:24:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv
With only 3.000 speakers in Northwest Siberia the Ob-Ugrian language Mansi is on the verge of extinction. Predictions say it will be extinct in ten to twenty years at the latest. The same holds true for Khanti, a member of the same language family. It is for this reason that extensive documentation is so important.
Johanna Laakso, professor for Finno-Ugrian Studies at the University of Vienna concerns herself with the documentation of this and other minority languages in the framework of an FWF project and the EU project ELDIA...
The documentation of the languages Mansi and Khanti is additionally of great importance because their speakers are to be found almost only in the older generations. "The younger generation hardly speaks any of the Ob-Ugrian languages any more," explains Laakso. "Our work will make the research tradition and the knowledge available more accessible to modern international linguistics." One of the major tasks will be to internationalize materials on the Mansi and Khanti languages, i.e. to translate them from Russian and other languages into English.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
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I fear for the English language in the Twin Cities.....
In digging up one of the tribes that makes up a major component in my personal genome I found only 500 "native speakers" were left and most of them lived within blow up range of an abandoned and rusting Russian nuclear submarine fleet!
Someone bothered to render their language (Skolt Sa'ami) into writing in the 1950s, but there has been a decided disinterest in learning to read it or write it so you can't actually pick up a printed dictionary or grammar book ~ just copies of typed out stuff.
Still, darned if I didn't figure out how to translate two family hand me down words that survived the 375 years that line had been in America.
I'm happy. They should move away from the submarines though.
Why document it? Is there some ancient writings in these two obscure language that may give us insight into their culture?
no habla jibber jabber
? Ugrian languages (which exist in Europe as well, Finno-Ugric arrived in Europe thanks to the Huns, in Finland and Hungary). Dunno about the writing system of these tribes.
Actually, the Huns were likely Turkic, not Finno-Ugric.
Learning any language is so much like work that NOBODY should ever have to learn a dead one. An intelligent child would be likely to murder his parents in their sleep for bringing him up speaking “ob-ugrian”.
What about Apache?
Ko’st lij baar?
That is really fascinating. Good on ya. Genealogy research is so compelling.
Man,...I have been touring the Urals....beautiful mountains...
I started with the Huns...and one thing led to another....
Thank goodness for the internet. Ladino, the language of the Spanish Jews, is also on the net and will be saved for the ages. Same with Mingo! (Iroquois).