A documentary on "disappearing languages"
Thread poster: Catherine Salbashian

Catherine Salbashian  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Jun 10, 2009


I thought I'd let you know about a documentary about disappearing languages, following a pair of linguists as they travel the world trying to record languages on the verge of extinction. It can be seen online here


(I actually work as an online editor for Babelgum, as well as my work as a freelance translator, which is how I came across this film, but I am opening this topic in my capacity as a translator as I think it would interest others here on Proz.com!)

Here's the blurb about the film:

"Like modern-day explorers, the two academics featured in The Linguists travel to forgotten places around the globe to unearth rare treasures—in this case, endangered languages. On a shoestring budget, professors David Harrison and Gregory Anderson navigate difficult terrain, searching for speakers of these forgotten and mostly hidden languages. While more than 7,000 different languages are currently spoken around the world, many are rapidly disappearing. Language diversity is shrinking as colonialism and economic unrest destroy traditional tribal tongues. When young people abandon their ancestral language, the passive suppression of their culture begins, and soon those languages will cease to exist. Joining a traditional ceremony in a remote village in India, observing a Kallawaya healing ritual in Bolivia, and completing an arduous journey into Siberia are all part and parcel of heeding the urgent call. The word connoisseurs are well suited for the monumental task of researching and documenting native tongues; they speak 25 languages between them. These humble ethnographers are in a race against time to preserve the increasingly rare words, which are intricately linked to the vanishing traditions and heritage of Indigenous populations. Well-paced and laced with humor, The Linguists serves as an insightful, contemporary adventure film with a strong emphasis on cultural history."

Hope you enjoy it,


Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:32
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages Jun 10, 2009

Greg and David are from the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages:



Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:32
German to English
Endangered Language Fund at Yale Jun 11, 2009

That reminds me of the Endangered Language Fund at Yale:


I wonder whether the ELF and the Living Tongues Institute work together.


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A documentary on "disappearing languages"

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