Online Learning Update

February 23, 2012

Fading tongues revived, via online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

By: Margaret Munro, Winnepeg Free Press

Bud Lane III is believed to be one of the last few people on the planet fluent in the aboriginal language Siletz-Dee-ni. His language, spoken by a small aboriginal community in Oregon, is teetering on the brink of extinction. But it has now been immortalized in Lane’s soothing voice in a “talking dictionary” — one of eight unveiled here Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Lane, who spoke to a media briefing Friday by phone from Oregon, said he will never forget the day experts came to his community in the 1980s and labelled the language “morbid.” The world is facing a crisis of language extinction, researchers said. Of the nearly 7,000 languages spoken today, they predict half may be gone by the end of the century. Many communities are embracing technology — the Internet, YouTube, social media, text messaging — as a way to save their languages.

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