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The Linguists

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 26, 2009

Of the world’s 7,000 languages, 40 percent are on their way to extinction, with the last fluent speaker of a language dying once every two weeks.

Every two weeks? Wow. That’s from an article in Seed magazine about a PBS show airing tonight called The Linguists.

The Linguists is a hilarious and poignant chronicle of two scientists — David Harrison and Gregory Anderson — racing to document languages on the verge of extinction. In Siberia, India, and Bolivia, the linguists confront head-on the very forces silencing languages: racism, humiliation, and violent economic unrest. David and Greg’s journey takes them deep into the heart of the cultures, knowledge, and communities at risk when a language dies.

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