It was interesting to receive this month's current issue of National Geographic with an article on Vanishing Voices. Much was to be learned in reading this article.
For one thing, contrary to U.S. citizens, English is not the language of the world. Chinese is.
I'm always amazed when well-meaning ex-pats want to teach English to Mexican Nationals. Their second sentence is always, "That's the only way they'll ever get ahead and get a good job". Really? I humbly disagree and feel that keeping their traditions and language is very important.
According to the article, one language dies every 14 days - Spanish is not one of them. Actually Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. English is third. Surprised?
The article is fascinating. One of the segments is on the Seri language which is danger of becoming extinct. The people that speak it are in the area around the State of Sonora. Way up near the Sea of Cortez and the border with Arizona. Hopefully some day I'll get up that way.
It's projected that by the next century at least 7000 languages will have been lost in favor of Mandarin, Spanish and English.
If you get a chance, pick up a copy of this issue and read the article. It is eye-opening.
Also in this issue is another article that stopped me dead in my tracks. It's called "If They Could Only Talk". It is about Easter island and the statues referred to as moai. What shocked me was the absolute similarity between the Easter Island statues and the Olmec statues seen in Xalapa. Even down to the ear covers and helmets. It conjures up all kinds of questions about origin. I've got to do more reading.........The other fascinating detail is that the Rapanui, indigenous of Easter Island, paint their bodies just as the Tarahumara and Lancondon do for their ceremonies. Can anyone shed more light on this for me?
Don't you just love when you read something that gives you lots of information but also gives you more to think about and want to know about? I certainly do.