Revitalizing Extinct Languages
Hebrew, Welsh, Hawaiian, and Sanskrit
Hebrew: Reviving Extinct Languages
- Most of the Jewish (Christian Bible’s Old Testament) was written in Hebrew, a language of daily activity in biblical times.
- Hebrew diminished in use in the fourth century and retained only for Jewish religious services.
- Hebrew was established as one of the two official language, in 1948 along with Arabic, when Israel was established as an independent country.
- Hebrew was chosen because the Jewish population of Israel consisted of refugees and migrants from many countries who spoke many languages.
- Reviving Hebrew in to a living was a dreadful task, because words had to be created for thousands of objects and inventions unknown in biblical times such as telephones, cars, electricity
- Eliezer-Ben Yehuda who lived in Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel, was credited with the invention of 4000 new Hebrew words and the creation of the first modern Hebrew dictionary
Endangered Languages: Celtic Languages
Celtic languages Dying: Irish
Revival of Welsh
- Recent efforts have prevented the disappearance of Celtic languages, for example Welsh (from the Bythonic branch)
- The Welsh Language Society in Wales have been crucial in preserving the language.
- Britain's 1988 Education Act made Welsh language training a compulsory subject in all schools on Wales, and Welsh History and music have been added to the curriculum.
- Welsh- language road signs have been posted throughout Wales, and the BBC produces Welsh-language television and radio programs.
Revival of Hawaiian languages
- On six of the seven inhabited islands of Hawaii, Hawaiian was displaced by English and is no longer used as the daily language of communication.
- Efforts to revive the language have increased in recent decades. Hawaiian language immersion schools are now open to children whose families want to retain (or introduce) Hawaiian language into the next generation.
- The local NPR station features a short segment titled "Hawaiian word of the day". Additionally, the Sunday editions of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin feature a brief article called Kauakukalahale, written entirely in Hawaiian by a student.
The Revival of Sanskrit
- A number of attempts to revive Sanskrit have been made from the 18th century and on wards. However, it has been challenged in this role by various community languages, Hindi, Urdu and English.
- Many of India's and Nepal's scientific and administrative terms are named in Sanskrit, as a counterpart of the western practice of naming scientific developments in Latin or Classical Greek
- Samskrita Bharat is a non-profit organisation working to revive Sanskrit, also termed Sanskrit revival. Sanskrit was a pan-Indian language in Vedic time but lost its prominent place amongst spoken dialects in modern India. Samskrita Bharati has its headquarters in New Delhi, and US chapter headquarters in San Jose, California.
- The International center, "Aksharam", is located in Bangalore, India, and houses a research wing, a library, Publication division and an audio-visual Language lab for teaching spoken Sanskrit.
Conflicts in the world caused by language reemergence
- First of all a revived language is one that, having experienced near or complete extinction as either a spoken or written language, has been intentionally revived and has regained some of its former status.
The most frequent reason for extinction is the low status of local languages within a wider dominant nation state, which might at times amount to outright political oppression.
This process normally works alongside economic and cultural pressures for greater centralization and assimilation.
Once a language has become marginalized in this way, the language is often seen as being "useless" by its remaining speakers, who associate it with low social status and poverty, thus failing to pass it on to the next generation.