Thanksgiving for native languages

MariesDictionaryEmmanuelVaughanLee

It’s time to give thanks.

What for, exactly?

This Thanksgiving, give thanks for the 130 endangered native languages in the USA, and the people keeping them alive.

Give thanks for Marie Wilcox.

Born on Thanksgiving Day 1933, Marie is the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni, in California. At 81, she started making a dictionary to pass her language on, and now, with her daughter, she is teaching her language to others. Watch the Oneness Project’s short film to see her in action.

Give thanks for Juanita Pahdopony.

Juanita translated this poem from Comache, a language of the Southern Plains (especially Oklahoma and Texas). Ten years ago, when it was published on Words Without Borders issue on the native languages of the Americas, there were less than 100 fluent Comanche speakers left.

The Loss of our Language

A long time ago
when animals
could talk,
the language
of the people
was spoken,
sweet-like sugar.

Today, few speak
Comanche,
its loss-a bitter lesson.
That is all.

Give thanks for the NGO Native Languages of the Americas.

On their website you can learn simple words  in Comanche, Yokuts (Marie Wilcox’s language family) and many more languages, find out about the linguistics, legends, literature and culture, or get answers to specific questions on their blog. It is a fantastic resource: Thank them by donating a bit of your time or money to support their work. Or simply by going and having a look, letting the words roll round your tongue and absorbing the stories when you’re too full to do anything else.

Thank you Marie, Juanita and the NLA. We need more people like you.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in language, poetry, translation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Barańczak Beowulf Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Central Europe Children's Books Children's literature Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Clare Cavanagh Clarice Lispector Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Dari Edinburgh Festival English Estonian Europe Facebook Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French friends George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hobbit Hungarian Idioms Illustration international International Translation Day Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Jewish Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin left-handed Literature Lola Rogers Lord of the Rings Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Mirkka Rekola Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Old English Oxford English Dictionary PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Pippi Longstocking Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese pubilc libraries Queer Roald Dahl Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Ryszard Kapuściński Salla Simukka Seamus Heaney Shakespeare Short Stories Slovene Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Terhi Ekebom Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson Translation translator Translators Without Borders Turkey Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow found in translation on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: