from Linguist List:
From: Matt Zajechowski <mattdigitalthirdcoast.net>
Subject: Interactive Map: The Second Most Spoken Languages Around the World
Typically, the official language of any country is also the most spoken language in that country. But what can the second-most spoken language tell you about that country? In many cases, knowing the second-most spoken language can tell you about that country’s ethnic heritage, their educated class, the language that they do business in, and how global that country is.
For example, in the United States, Spanish is the second-most spoken language throughout the country. However, in several states (Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont), French is the most commonly spoken second language. And, to further reflect the United States’ reputation as a melting pot, more than 60 million Americans speak a language at home other than English; of these, over 58% self-reported to the U.S. Census Bureau that they spoke English “very well.”
In South America, people might be surprised to learn that the second most common language in Brazil is German. There are estimated to be 3 million German speakers in Brazil, and people speak both traditional German and Brazilian dialects of German. Another interesting revelation is that Italian is the second most spoken language in Argentina. As much as 97% of Argentina’s population identifying as “white” identify as ethnically Italian, and there are reported to be around 600,000 Italian speakers in Argentina.
In Europe, where people are often fluent in more than one language, the second-most spoken language varies greatly among countries. Catalan, German, Gaelic, South Asian, Finnish, and even regional or indigenous dialects are among the several different second-most spoken languages in Europe. In Africa, the second-most spoken languages are most commonly indigenous or tribal languages unique to that specific country. English and French are also common “lingua francas” throughout Africa. Finally, in Asia and Oceania, English is the second-most spoken language in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia.
To see a map of the second most spoken languages around the world, check out this interactive map from Olivet Nazarene University:
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
By NATALIE WHEELER, The East Oregonian Published: Sep 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM PST
PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Tribal members living in the Pendleton Round-Up’s teepee village stopped, listened and peeked their heads west when Carina Vasquez-Minthorn sang the national anthem at last week’s Happy Canyon Night Show.
Vasquez-Minthorn, 20, a Happy Canyon princess, sang in the Umatilla language for the first time at the show. Some cried, others clapped and cheered.
“She hadn’t told me she was going to sing in Umatilla,” Vasquez-Minthorn’s grandmother Marjorie Waheneka said. “I was telling everyone, ‘That’s Carina, that’s Carina!'”
Like many native languages, the Nez Perce language and Sahaptin language group — including Umatilla and Walla Walla — are no longer the mother tongues of most tribal members. Government boarding schools in the 19th and 20th centuries forbid tribal members from speaking their native language, and for many years tribal members focused less on their own verse and more on becoming masters of English.
Access full article below:
[From the ILAT listserv]
Language is an integral part of our culture.
But did you know that Aboriginal languages are shaped by ancestral connections to the land, stars, water, sea and the air we breathe?
NITV’s six-part series Talking Language with Ernie Dingo explores the complex and delicate balance between language, stories and relationship to country.
“I want to hear the Earth in the words, in the songs, in the voices of the past, the present and the future [than greetings in Aboriginal language].”
There are around 250 Aboriginal languages with 600 dialects spoken in Australia.
But it’s thought only thirty of those languages are spoken each day, while over one hundred are critically endangered.
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[From the ILAT listserv]
Following up on my previous post, here’s another article about the Maidu language community. It was pointed out on the Indigenous Languages & Technology listserv, however, that these articles may not be an accurate representation of actual community attitudes. Jim Bauman says:
“The BBC article seems to be generalizing that the Maidu communities in California are willingly letting their language slip away. Whatever may be the case in Taylorsville, the claim definitely does not carry over to other communities. Case in point, the Susanville Indian Rancheria has an ongoing ANA grant for a Maidu language revitalization program. The Weye-ebis Program meaning “Keep Talking” (http://www.ourlanguage.org/resource/weye-ebis-mountain-maidu-language-revitalization) is working toward preservation and documentation goals with an important objective being the creation of a sustaining language training program. Other efforts are also underway in other areas of the Maidu ancestral territory.”
He also adds, I think insightfully:
“It is always the case that individuals with knowledge of their ancestral language can choose to not share that knowledge, but theirs is an individual decision that doesn’t characterize the will or intent of all tribal members.”