Howdy folks. This is a list of languages I’d love to see and try out. I think, like many of us, we’re a bunch who love experiencing some flavour of languages, irregardless how far we take them (try-lingualism), if not learning them to fluency.
Now, onto the list!
SSiAsturian (on the way!)
SSiSami (possibly in the works!)
Also includes Australian Aboriginal languages, Torres Straight Islanders languages, and languages of India and Pakistan.
You may have noticed that some languages on here are not natively spoken anymore. Yet they do have communities that write websites, Wikipedias, articles and books & narratives in those languages, and even speaking groups exist; they are Anglo-Saxon/Ænglisc and Old Norse. I’d love to learn some conversational Anglo-Saxon. I actually tried some years ago and learned how to read to some extent some Old English poetry and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. I’d gloss some obscure forums or email lists of people having conservations in it, admiring the fact that I may one day join their ranks.
Would SSi consider ever adding in extinct languages (where some enthusiast communities exist) and constructed languages (eg., Lojban, Esperanto, Klingon, etc.)? Also, what languages would you like to see?
One of the biggest, hairiest aspirational goals on the company plan is “to have an SSi course for every language in the world, available through every language in the world.” It’s an impractical goal (for instance, in that there is probably no point in making Faroese available through the medium of Maori, just in case someone wants it), but it is a goal that drives the technical inovations behind the scecnes, and shich has given us a piece of software that is currently being used to produced the level 3 Welsh courses, and the Manx course, and which will ultimately (and imminently) allow us to produce language courses quickly and easily.
Then, the only restricting factor is finding people who are both fluent (ie have a natural and wide ranging ability to use the language) and sufficiently disciplined / interested / committed to create the course in a language, be that living or dead, intentionally made-up or just made-up by time and circumstance.
We hope to get the Celtic languages and some European minirity languages covered soon - we understand the background / circumstances and to some extent the market for these languages - and then keep grwoing outwards and upwards.
So yes, please list your favourites, and don;t worry about duplicates - if everyone wants to learn Swahili, then we’ll get onto it!
Just with regards to that ‘imminently’ there - we’ve got one more fix to do, but it’s a bit complicated, and requires some structural change - so we’re not talking ‘imminently’ as in ‘next couple of weeks’, and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be ‘imminently’ as in ‘next couple of months’.
My wife spent a little time in Cologne in her youth * and keeps coming out with a phrase which to my ears sounds like “Da yid et yar nit” which I take to mean “Das gibt es gar nicht” in Hochdeutsch. This in turn can be translated colloquially but not literally as “I don’t believe it!” spoken in a Victor Meldrew voice.
I am, of course open to correction on any part of this post.
* I hasten to add that I did not mean to imply that her “youth” has now passed.
Curiously, that sort of makes sense to me. When I was young, I remember the mother of one of my friends, who was from Koeln, being able to understand our local dialect better than common Dutch, the former being much closer to Koelsch dialect.
PS. Sorry, Naltun, didn’t see you had already mentioned Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages in your post.
Out of interest, I just did a Google search to find out roughly how many Australian Aboriginal languages are still spoken today — there were at least 250 before British colonisation (I know I’ve seen the estimate of 500 somewhere, but that probably depends on whether certain ones are counted as dialects or languages in their own right), while fewer than 150 are still in regular use today and all but 13 are highly endangered. So there’s another good place for SSi to step in.
(While I was at it, though, Google’s search results informed me that “People also ask: What language do people speak in Australia? / What is the most common language spoken in Australia? / What is the main language in Australia? / Is Australia an English speaking country?”… please forgive a momentary off-topic rant, everyone, but I CANNOT BELIEVE there are apparently significant numbers of people in the world who aren’t aware that the “main language” in Australia (by a huge margin) is English!!! But then, I’m only an Aussie myself, so what would I know about the rest of the world? )
Kamilaroi, of the Liverpool Plains area close to where I live, is being taught in schools in the area. I am hoping to get in contact soon with some of the people working for this language, and see what assistance SSi can offer here. I am aware of attempts to revive Dharug Dalang in the Sydney area, and Anaiwan in my area, New England - neither of these still have fluent or active speakers, unfortunately. In many cases, remnants of original languages survive in words or sayings that are used by families and communities, sometimes without knowing that these are original language terms.
It is my dream that one day, everywhere in Australia, people will learn the original language of that area, enough perhaps to just say g’day, how you goin’ - and hear the ‘Welcome to Country’ greeting in that language - I’ve only ever heard that once, in the Kamilaroi of Coonabarabran, very impressive.
That’s good to know, Louis. I come from Bunurong/Woiwurong country myself (Melbourne/West Gippsland), but unfortunately those languages are mostly extinct, although there are certainly direct descendants of those people still around and I know they’re working to preserve whatever they can of their language and traditional culture.
I know there are plenty of efforts to revive and sustain indigenous languages in various parts of the country — for example, I remember learning about a TV show in the Perth area aimed at teaching kids some basic words in Nyungar, the local language there. When I was at the University of Queensland in the mid 2000s, there was a class available in Yanyuwa, an Aboriginal language from the Gulf of Carpentaria, which I’d have taken if the teacher hadn’t moved to a different university! I don’t have any Aboriginal ancestry myself (to my knowledge!), but just always wished I could do something to help preserve an endangered language somewhere. I’m sure a programme like SSi would be a big help to those efforts.
(I’ve since moved to Britain and discovered that the Cornish language is being revived — and I do have Cornish ancestry— so that’s how I came to be so attached to Kernewek! )