Disappearing and threatened languages
“A language is a dialect with an army and navy.” – Max Weinreich
One language dies every 14 days. By 2100, nearly half of the 7,000 languages that are spoken on earth will have most likely disappeared.
At the beginning of the 15th century, some 15,000 languages were in currency. With the dawning of the age of European expansion, more than half of those languages have disappeared as a result of wars, genocide, legal bans and sheer economic force. Languages are more than a collection of sounds that make sense together. They define a people, a culture, they hold knowledge, history and a connection to the land. To lose a language is like losing biodiversity, a loss of resources that have been built up over millennia. If languages are a sign of our cultural health, what is lost when a language goes silent? If a language is a world, how many worlds are we allowing to slip away before it is too late?
ASL is available for this event! Please email email@example.com to request ASL services before June 9th! For venue description and accessibility information:
SFU Woodwards World Art Centre.
This event has been made possible with the support of SFU Woodwards.