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Farewell to a Life , and a Language

World  (tags: native american, languages, alaska, eyak )

- 4098 days ago -
Marie Smith Jones, who worked to preserve her heritage as the last full-blooded member of Alaska's Eyak Indians and the last fluent speaker of their Native language, has died. She was 89


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Mary Riley (987)
Monday January 28, 2008, 11:58 am
How very sad. Thank you for the news.

Past Member (0)
Monday January 28, 2008, 12:27 pm
about every two weeks another language dies, taking millennia of human knowledge and history with it.
Which parts of the world have high nubers of languages in danger of extinction? Explore the map


Catherine R (47)
Monday January 28, 2008, 2:57 pm
What a loss to the world. I'm 58 and I've seen so many changes in our world and I'm afraid I will live to see countless more that will leave this planet a little less diverse. We must use all resources at hand to preserve as much as we can for future generations before our planet is one homogeneous ball.

Nuraini A (41)
Tuesday January 29, 2008, 7:02 am
well, the world is so competitive now. you're behind if you waste time learning your own indigenous languages that no one else uses... if your people haven't got the numbers or the (profitable) knowledge superiority to force your language to the top of the big leagues, there'll be a debate about what it costs to the nation to spend time preserving and speaking your own language. i know this, because it is taking place in my country. presently, while my language is still widely spoken, the quality has gone down - the skill of the many speakers is nowhere equal to those literates, or even illiterates, of times past. i include myself among those who can speak correctly, but not beautifully or eloquently, in my own language. and it is true - a language carries with it a whole worldview, the experience of a human people. the loss of a language is a loss for the human race, and cannot be replaced by technological advances, or innovative gadgets, or a higher GDP and 6% economic growth year on year.
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