Language Preservation

The National Museum of Language honors and supports language acquisition and preservation.

Our resources and events related to language revitalization and preservation include:

Dictionary of South Saami

English – South Saami

This dictionary was created by a team of volunteer linguists who based their work on three previously published dictionaries. The indigenous languages of the Saami people are spoken across the northers regions of the Scandinavian countries. They are endangered but recent efforts to preserve them are underway.

Indigenous and Native Culture Month

November 2022

Try this quiz to see if you can guess which words in English come from Native American languages or European languages.

Words fromNative American Languages

Unscramble the words

These are state nemes from indigenous languages.

Alaska Native Heritage Curriculum

Brandon Locke

In the spring of 2021 the brand-new 3rd grade social studies curriculum, “The Nest Egg,” was unveiled, to be put into use in ASD classrooms starting the 2021-22 school year.

Interview with Brandon Locke

With Greg Nedved

Brandon Locke is Director of the World Languages and Immersion Programs at the Anchorage School District.

Hawaiian Language Programs

Education from Pre-K – 16

See videos of the various programs in Hawaii.

Tim Brookes

Endangered Alphabets

Interview with Tim Brookes of the Endangered Alphabets Project

Bringing a Script into the 21st Century:
A Mayan Epigraphic Project

Thomas Witten

Thomas Witten spoke on the development of a computer program that allows a user to easily write in Mayan glyphs

Kurdish: An Understudied Language of the Middle East

Dr. Michael L. Chyet

Dr. Michael L. Chyet, a renowned expert on Kurmanji, the main dialect of Kurdish, spoke about the Kurdish language in the context of the Middle East and how he came to create a textbook and dictionary.

Alaska Native Heritage Curriculum

Brandon Locke

In the spring of 2021 the brand-new 3rd grade social studies curriculum, “The Nest Egg,” was unveiled, to be put into use in ASD classrooms starting the 2021-22 school year.

Indigenous Language Revitalization in North America: A View from the Field

Dr. Craig Kopris

Dr. Craig Kopris has nearly three decades of training and experience in language description and endangered language revitalization, with a particular emphasis on Iroquoian languages. He has been a consultant with indigenous language activists and officials from several nations in the U.S. and Canada, teaches classes for the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute, and served as a linguist for Carnival Films’ Jamestown series.

Demo Title

Demo Description


My first Popup

This will close in 20 seconds

Fanni is Radnóti's wife
Located near the Tang capital city of Chang’an, site of the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, in central China.
Soldiers of that time commonly wore a white head cloth, similar to what is still worn by some peasants in China today.  The implication is that the conscripts were so young that they didn’t know how to wrap their head cloths, and needed help from elders.
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
The area of Guanxi, meaning “west of the passes”, refers to the area around the capital city of Chang’an.
This is an alternative name for a province in western China, now known as Qinghai, which literally means “blue sea”.  Kokonor Lake, located in Qinghai, is the largest saline lake in China.  
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
Oulart Hollow was the site of a famous victory of the Irish rebels over British troops, which took place on May 27, 1798. The rebels killed nearly all the British attackers in this battle. (Source: Maxwell, W. H. History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798. H. H. Bohn, London 1854, pp 92-93, at archive.org)
The phrase "United Men" is elaborated upon in the Notes section below.

Ghetto


An Italian word meaning “foundry.” It originally referred to a part of the city of Venice where the Jews of that city were forced to live; the area was called “the ghetto” because there was a foundry nearby. The term eventually came to refer to any part of a city in which a minority group is forced to live as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. Because of the restrictions placed upon them, ghetto residents are often impoverished.

"You’re five nine, I am do-uble two"


A reference to the year 1959 and the year 2020.

"The Currency"


Meaning US dollars - this is drawing attention to the fact that Cuba is effectively dollarized.

"Sixty years with the dom-ino stuck"


This sentence is a reference to the Cold War notion that countries would turn Communist one after the other - like dominos. Cuba was the first domino, but it got stuck - no one else followed through into communism.

رحلنا


رحلنا, or "rahalna," means "we have left."

Habibi


Habibi means "my love."

Ra7eel


Ra7eel, or "raheel," means "departure."

3awda


3awda, or "awda," means "returning."

أهلاً


أهلاً, or "ahalan," means "welcome."

a5 ya baba


a5 ya baba, pronounced "akh ya baba," means "Oh my father."

golpe


Treece translates "golpe" as "beating", which is correct, however misses the secondary meaning of the word: "coup".

Carlos


The “Carlos” referred to in the poem is most likely Carlos Bolsonaro, a politician from Rio de Janeiro and the second son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s current president. His and his father’s involvement in Marielle’s murder has been questioned and investigated.