Our Language in Your Hands is a three part series on BBC Radio that concluded yesterday. Its host, Mark Turin, is a linguist and anthropologist who visits different places, studying and bringing awareness to endangered languages.
Most endangered languages are indigenous languages that have very few speakers. This makes it very difficult to save these languages – speakers often have to learn a majority language for school or work or day to day things like going to the shop. This doesn’t leave much time for speaking the endangered language, and as generations grow and have children of their own fewer people speak the language in the home.
Our Language in Your Hands is a really great series that deals with finding ways to promote these languages, the correlation between language and culture, and why all this is so important.
If you haven’t heard it, I recommend going to the series’ site and having a listen. That link will take you straight to the first episode. It’s completely worth the time (which isn’t long at all).