thank you note for every language

Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

While reading the article I could not stop laughing.
The last two existing people able to speak the Ayapaneco language are not talking to each other.

Manuel Segviovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquezto, 69, living in a small town of Mexico are brooding. That’s a nightmare for anthropologist and I hope that Manuel and and Isidro speak Spanish as finding an interpreter fitting their needs must be problematic.

Then, thinking about it, the fewer languages the better. The world should have five to ten major languages in every continent and that should do it.

Birth and dying are part of the evolution process and so are languages. We are not talking about extinction of species but way of expressing one self.

For me a valid language should be translated into another at all level. Meaning; that it should have minimum borrowing from another one to find an identity.

It is useless to spend huge amount of money to print school books in a language discontinued for studies at university level.

Weird, but some countries insist on saving the vernacular then switch language for a higher form of education.

I love the sound of French patois but what can you do with it when you want to learn nuclear medicine, quantum velocity or even international criminal law.

The world speaks over 6,000 languages. Papua New Guinea holds the record with over 800 indigenous languages and Nigeria has over 500. It is a pure social nightmare and they would fare better with only two or three unifying languages.

Of course, being bilingual is fun with languages which are commonly used and not only English, French or Spanish but also Russian, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Japanese or Gujarati.

Gujarati is spoken by 46 millions people and is among the 30 most spoken language in the world and East Africa has almost 450,000 people of Indian descent speaking it.

East Africa chose to invent Kiswahili not fluently spoken by 15 million people.

Learning Gujarati ,at the onset, would have been better as to join a majority of 46 million.  Sorry, a few will tell you the need to acquire an identity.

Speaking Kiswahili does not give an identity since it is a mixture of Arabic, German, Portuguese, English and French and double words. I think that it is the language with the most double syllable words in the world:

Me –  mimi
You – wewe
How are you – sasa
Road – barabara
Garbage – katakata
Chicken – kuku
Child – toto
This, that, what’s that or whatever – nini.

In Kiswahili the time structure has six hours difference.  Meaning you add six to whatever shows your watch.
Wouldn’t it be nice to only use the time shown on a clock?

I feel bad for these two guys in Mexico but then life is life and if they don’t want to speak to each other that’s ok with me.
It is their business and I will not interfere with it.
Anyway, I couldn’t interfere, I don’t speak their language.
No one does.



4 responses to “AYAPANECO RANT

  1. Language is the means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery. ” Mark Amidon”

  2. Hi Patrick! I love language but fail to speak any but english and AAVE. What I found strange about french are the numerous silent vowels! Difficult to spell in french. 🙂

    • Anna
      French is a funny and crazy language. You cannot pronouce everything you read. Then same sounding words have different meaning. French is a landmine of grammatical exceptions. Things have gender.

  3. All languages hold keys to the origin and history of the peoples who spoke the language, in much the same way as DNA. Though linguists have accomplished a great deal in tracing the beginnings, the changes, the persistent survivors and the losses in ancient and modern languages, the whole story is far from complete, and it’s the story of human beings. Every language lost is information lost, information about people living and dead.

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