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Amerindian languages

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pinguin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 02:39
Amerindian languages are an important heritage of the Western Hemisphere. There are hundred of different languages in this region, with a diversity that perhaps match the differences in Eurasia.
 
I would like to open a thread were to put videos, texts and explanations about Amerindian languages.
 
To start it, I will put some examples in Quechua (Incas) and Mapudungun (Mapuche, natives of my country). It would be interesting if all the people familiarized with native language follow me in this campain Wink
 
Examples of Quechua in TV commercials, from Peru's telecom company Movistar.
 
 
And this is really beautiful:
 
 
Mapuche language government adds to broadcast social laws and rights:
Consumers laws:
 
divorce:
 
Right to breastfeed children
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 09:53
Some tutelage in Cherokee (there are many such videos on Youtube):
 
 
 
About Navajo descendants today trying to keep the language alive:
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 17:12
Aboriginal languages are alive and well within the Canadian Broadcasting Corps radio and television stations:  http://www.cbc.ca/aboriginal/personalities.html
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 18:45
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

About Navajo descendants today trying to keep the language alive:
 
 
Interesting that the reasons Navajo have for abandoning the language are the same the Mapuches have: to prevent theirs childrens to be discriminated, and to improve theirs mainstream language skills.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 20:58
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
Interesting that the reasons Navajo have for abandoning the language are the same the Mapuches have: to prevent theirs childrens to be discriminated, and to improve theirs mainstream language skills.
 
 
During a period this was also common among the Sami people here in Scandinavia. Luckily enough this are changing now and the Sami language are experiencing a renaissance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:06

Sami language is an Eurasian language, even Indoeuropean. I bet it is related with Scandinavia languages.

Native languages of the Americas, on the other hand, are unique. We have lost around half the Native languages already, specially those used by small groups. There are still many languages alive, and hopefully they don't disappear.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:25
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Sami language is an Eurasian language, even Indoeuropean. I bet it is related with Scandinavia languages.
 
Sami language(s) belongs to the Finnish ugrian languages of the Ural language family. It is somewhat realated to Finnish but not to Scandinavian languages. The Sami language(s) are spoken by around 50 000 people in the world so it is rather unique too.
 
Here you can hear a beautiful song in the Sami language:
 
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 12 Jul 2009 at 05:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:30

Samis are a subgoup of Caucasians, indeed. Tribal people, but as Europeans as a Swedish, a Russian or an Italian. Perhaps people like the Finns, Swedish, Germans or Celts lived like Samis a thousand years ago. Samis closer groups are actually Europeans. 

But I insist, the Amerindian languages are different, and part of the heritage of the Americas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:42
Of course Amerindian languages are different, so are African languages or Asian or Australian. The world is full of unique languages.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:49
Yes. And this thread is about Amerindian languages.
Back on topic.
 
This books is the "Testimony of the Mapuche Chief Pascual Coña", that shows clearly the customs of the 19th century's Mapuches. It is a bilingual, Spanish Mapudungun book of lot of importance for the preservation of the language:
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:53
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Samis are a subgoup of Caucasians, indeed. Tribal people, but as Europeans as a Swedish, a Russian or an Italian. Perhaps people like the Finns, Swedish, Germans or Celts lived like Samis a thousand years ago. Samis closer groups are actually Europeans. 
 
Samis are also a part of a circumpolar belt of cultures that show some similarity because of similar ecological circumstances and perhaps also contacs. So in Siberia there are several reindeer farming peoples, like the Samojeds, the Ostjaks, the Evenks, the Jukagirians, the Tjutki and the Korjaks

who share cultural traits with the Samis, among them the use of shamanism and shamanistic drums. So their culture are somewhat different from the Germanic peoples and other more southern peoples who has been farmers for around 5000 years or more.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 21:58
Again.
Why don't you open a thread on Samis on the History of Europe section?
The history forum is classified by regions. We don't study the history of Maories in the African section, or Australian aborigins in Ancient Egypt.
 
Thanks.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 22:14
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Yes. And this thread is about Amerindian languages.
Back on topic.
 
This books is the "Testimony of the Mapuche Chief Pascual Coña", that shows clearly the customs of the 19th century's Mapuches. It is a bilingual, Spanish Mapudungun book of lot of importance for the preservation of the language:
 
 
Interesting about the book. Some books can be very valuable in preserving languages or to show how a language looked in a certain time. One such book is Johan Campanius translation of Luthers Little Catheshism into Delaware jargong (a trade variant of Leni Lenape language) from 1656.
 
Another is his vocabulary in the now extinct language of the Susquehannocks, the Vocabula Mahakuassica. It was compiled in the 1640s. Today this book is the only source to this language 
 
 
A Vocabulary of Susquehannock (American Language Reprints Series)
 
The Vocabulary of the Susquehannocks
 
 
          


Edited by Carcharodon - 11 Jul 2009 at 22:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 22:17
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Again.
Why don't you open a thread on Samis on the History of Europe section?
The history forum is classified by regions. We don't study the history of Maories in the African section, or Australian aborigins in Ancient Egypt.
 
Thanks. 
 
Because sometimes Samis and Native Americans (mostly the Inuit) are mentioned in the same context as examples of circumpolar peoples with some similar cultural traits.
 
But maybe it is better to open a thread of its own about circumpolar peoples and their eventual similarities.


Edited by Carcharodon - 11 Jul 2009 at 22:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 22:22

Well, let's hope will keep on topic. This is the prologe of Pascual Cona, in Mapudungun, Spanish and my translation (poor) to English:

The full Mapudungun Version can be found in page 11 of this document:
 
 
The first paragraph:
Inche decu pian: (A thing I'll say)
Deu fuchan inche, (I am old already)
doi pura mari tripantu nielu trokiuwn.(I believe I have more than 80 years)
 
Full prolog in Spanish/English translated by me:
 
Una cosa dire:
A thing I'll say
 
Estoy viejo ya, creo que
I am old. I believe
 
tengo mas de ochenta años.
I have more than eighty years

Durante esta larga vida
During this long life

Llegue a conocer bien los
I knew very well

 modales de la gente de
The customs of the ancient people

 antaño; todas las diversas
All the aspect of theirs lives, I knew.

 faces de su vida  tengo
presentes; tenían buenas
costumbres, pero también
malas.
They have good customs but also bad ones.

 De todo esto voy a hablar
Of this I am going to talk now.

 ahora: contare el desarrollo
I'll tell the development of my own life

 de mi propia existencia y

 tambien el modo de vivir de
los antepasados.
An the way of living of my ancestors.
 
 En nuestros dias la vida a
cambiado; la generacion
In our days life has changed
 
 nueva se ha chilenizado
The new generation is very much chilenized.

 mucho; poco a poco ha ido
olvidandose del designio y
de la indole de nuestra
Little by little they have forgotten the destiny and characteristic of our race.
 

 raza; que pasen unos cuantos
años y casi ni sabran ya
hablar su lengua nativa.
And when they years pass they won't even know to speak theirs native language.
 
 
Entonces ¡qué lean algunas
veces siquiera este libro!
He dicho.
Then,  at least they should read this book once in a while!

 Pascual Coña
 


Edited by pinguin - 11 Jul 2009 at 22:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 22:53
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Sami language is an Eurasian language, even Indoeuropean. I bet it is related with Scandinavia languages.


Native languages of the Americas, on the other hand, are unique. We have lost around half the Native languages already, specially those used by small groups. There are still many languages alive, and hopefully they don't disappear.
 

 

 

Saying some languages are 'unique' while others are not is completely meaningless. What do you mean bu 'unique' possessing rare or specific linguistic features? Every language has that, so English is as unique as Sami which is as unique as Mapudungun. Or do you mean that languages are 'unique' if they have only very little speakers? In that case I can easily name three dozen Amerindian languages that are less unique than Sami (and three dozen European languages that are more unique than Mapudungun).

Besides, it's not as if English and Spanish are responsible for the death of Amerindian languages. Quite a lot of them have disappeared because of other Amerindian languages. Chicomuceltec went extinct because its speakers switched to Tzeltal, Eyak went extinct when its speakers started to speak Tlingit. Even Mapudungun has gobbled up several minor Amerindian languages in Southern Chile and Argentina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 23:07
What I mean is that they are languages exclusively from the Americas. This section is about the history of the Americas after all, and not the section about tribal peoples all over the world. As far as I know, anyways. That's why I don't include in this section tribal societies I love, like Polynesians, for instance.
 
With respect to the extinction of languages I agree that's true. Languages with numerous speakers spread more, and at the same time as tribal societies assimilate the native tongues tends to dissapear. That inevitable, but at least modern states should prevent the knowledge about those languages become forgotten. For instance, if Chile lost Mapudungun the meaning of the toponimics, and many traditions, will be gone forever.
 
I believe in the far future, even languages like French, Spanish, German or Japanese may be replaced by plain English, as the Internet penetration shows.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 11 Jul 2009 at 23:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009 at 23:09
How close is Navajo language to Tlingit? Do they understand each other, or are they completely different?
 
Ps. nothing to do with language, but I think this is pretty amazing, the hoop dance


Edited by Jams - 11 Jul 2009 at 23:20
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