New York may be home to about 800 languages

Friday, April 30, 2010

The New York Times has an article here on the linguistic diversity found in the city, including a number of examples of languages that now have more speakers there than in the regions of the world they originally come from. The reason for the article now is to spotlight the Endangered Languages Alliance, a group that has been formed to do what linguists normally do with endangered languages - research and try to preserve them.

A blog post here mentions the article as well as a reminder that Ladino is among these 800 or so, a language that seems to be holding up so far. The Ladino Wikipedia has over 2,000 articles right now, with the longest real article (i.e. no lists) being this one on Albert Einstein. One big advantage to preserving Ladino is that it seems to be quite easy to just take a Spanish page and ladinify it; just about the entire language is immediately comprehensible to a Spanish speaker. One example:

Ansi, aresivio en 1921 el premio Nobel por su eksplikasion del efekto fotoelektriko, anke el anunsio no se hizo hasta un anyo mas tadre.
In fact, someone seeing Ladino for the first time could easily mistake it for an IAL created by just taking Spanish and making it look a bit more like Interlingua, but with k in place of c.

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