entendemo-nos todos muito bem em inglês.

“You say laughter and I say larfter,” sang Louis Armstrong. The difference is subtle. Across the world, however, from the Amazon to the Arctic, tribal peoples say it in 4,000 entirely different ways.

Sadly, no one now says “laughter” in Eyak, a language from the Gulf of Alaska, whose last fluent speaker died in 2008, or in the Bo language from the Andaman Islands, for its last remaining speaker, Boa Senior, died in 2010. Nearly 55,000 years of thoughts and ideas— the collective history of an entire people— died with her.

Most tribal languages are disappearing faster than they can be recorded. Linguists at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages believe that on average, a language is disappearing every two weeks. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear. The pace at which they are declining exceeds even that of species extinction. […]

“I cannot read books,” said the Gana Bushman Roy Sesana from Botswana. “But I do know how to read the land and animals. All our children could. If they couldn’t, they would have died long ago.”

The languages of Bo, Innu-aiman, Penan, Akuntsu, Siksika, Yanomami and Yawuru are rich in the results of thousands of years of observation and discovery and aspects of life that are central to the survival of the community – and the wider world. “The hunter gatherer way of being in the world, their way of knowing and talking about the world, depends on detailed, specific knowledge,” says anthropologist Hugh Brody, while linguist K. David Harrison, in his book When Languages Die writes, “When we lose a language, we lose centuries of human thinking about time, seasons, sea creatures, reindeer, edible flowers, mathematics, landscapes, myths, music, the unknown and the everyday.” […]

In the words of Daniel Everett, linguist, author and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University, “When we lose tribal knowledge we lose part of our ‘force’ as Homo sapiens. There is a inestimable loss of expression of humor, knowledge, love, and the gamut of human experience. One ancient tradition, a world of solutions to life is lost forever. You can’t Google it and get it back.”

Joanna Eede, «You can’t Google it and get it back – Why the death of tribal languages matters», aqui.

Um artigo para ler no Survival International. Vale bem a pena.

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