You’ve heard of The Avengers – now it’s The Linguists

The Linguists – A Very Foreign Language Film

Here is some blurb from an email (via Forensic Linguistics Mailing List)

We are nothing short of elated to announce that our documentary feature
THE LINGUISTS was selected to world premiere in the newly
minted “Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight” category at the 2008 Sundance
Film Festival.

THE LINGUISTS is the first documentary supported by the National Science
Foundation to ever make it to Sundance.

The trailer is at Here’s a brief synopsis:

It is estimated that of 7,000 languages in the world, half will be gone by
the end of this century.

THE LINGUISTS follows David Harrison and Gregory Anderson, scientists
racing to document languages on the verge of extinction. In Siberia,
India, and Bolivia, the linguists’ resolve is tested by the very forces
silencing languages: institutionalized racism and violent economic unrest.

David and Greg’s journey takes them deep into the heart of the cultures,
knowledge, and communities at risk when a language dies.

Happy Holidays,
Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger

Ironbound Films, Inc.

In this connection, see a ridiculous BBC News article about a language that is endangered because its two last speakers have stopped talking to each other. (Can’t remember where I got the link)

10 thoughts on “You’ve heard of The Avengers – now it’s The Linguists

  1. The BBC article is not so ridiculous if you consider that language is about communication. It is only logical that we become “speechless” when we are not on speaking terms with someone.
    In fact, the story is not so far removed from the original language confusion story at Babel in Genesis chapter 11.

    • My thought was: the article seemed to suggest they weren’t so much at loggerheads as having nothing in common. And if one of them were even writing a diary in his own language, the language wouldn’t technically be dead. It seems quite a feat to locate the last two speakers of a language, though.

  2. NAZI CRIMES AGAINST SPANISH MINORITIES: GERNIKA 1937. Aerial attack on the Basque town causing widespread destruction and civilians deaths. The raid was made by planes of the German Luftwaffe as part of their training for the II WW. Gernika was a centre of great symbolism to the Basque people but it was not a strategic o military spot. The destruction was total giving birth to the most notorious and universal XX century masterpiece, “Gernika”, by Pablo PIcasso, the great republican painter.

  3. At the beginning of what is shaping up to be the biggest economic crisis for rather a long time, the Galician government is paying folks to give their kids Galician names. They’re all completely crazy, well the crazy ones anyway.

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