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EXPLORATIONS - More Than Half of All Languages in the World

时间:2006-03-16 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:z75531   字体: [ ]
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EXPLORATIONS - More Than Half of All Languages in the World Are in Danger of Disappearing
By Marilyn Christiano

Broadcast: Wednesday, October 26, 2005

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

I'm Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Faith Lapidus with Explorations in VOA Special English. Today we tell about the loss of languages and attempts to save them.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

About six thousand languages are spoken in the world today. But experts estimate2 that more than half of them are in danger of disappearing. The endangered languages are spoken by some older members of native groups, but not used for everyday life by younger members. As the old people die, the language dies with them.

 
Many American Indian langauges are among indigenous3 languages threatened around the world
VOICE TWO:

Until recently, most people were not worried about the loss of languages. There was much more concern about the loss of different kinds of plants and animals. Now, scientists, cultural experts and many other people are concerned about protecting the different languages in the world. They know that when a language is lost, the culture and much of the knowledge of the native community may be lost with it.

Languages are the means by which people seek to explain the world they live in. Information about the natural world, such as plants that can be used to heal4, often is lost when the language dies. Some experts say the death of any language is a loss for everyone, not just for the native people who once spoke1 it.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

During the last century, government suppression of native languages was common around the world, including the United States. In eighteen sixty-eight, President Ulysses S. Grant5 appointed a federal6 committee to try to make peace with American Indian tribes8. The tribes were fighting to protect their lands.

 
President Ulysses S. Grant
The committee decided9 that language differences were the problem. It said that all people in the United States should speak the same language so they would think the same way. It said American Indian children should be taken from their homes and sent to live in government boarding schools where they would speak only English.

The federal government established its first boarding school for American Indian children in eighteen seventy-nine. Children were punished if they spoke their native languages. For fifty years, thousands of Native American children were sent to these schools to live, work and be educated in English. By the late nineteen thirties, many of the schools had closed. But their effects on American Indian languages continued.

VOICE TWO:

In the nineteen sixties, interest in saving10 native cultures and languages grew. Government policies changed. By nineteen sixty-eight, the American government helped start some of the first tribal11 language programs in the public school system.

In nineteen ninety, a Native American organization reported to Congress12 about the importance of saving and using tribal languages. It said information about the past and about spiritual, ceremonial and natural worlds is passed on through spoken language. Without the language, the group said, a culture can be damaged beyond repair.

That year the United States Congress passed the Native American Languages Act. It established a federal policy aimed at saving the languages of American Indian tribes. But the years of government attempts to force American Indians to speak English meant many tribal languages were in danger or dead.

VOICE ONE:

Government suppression is not the only reason languages are lost around the world. Younger people leave their native communities to get jobs in cities where they use only the language of the majority. Wars, floods, lack of rain, or loss of land to development can force members of a community to leave their traditional homelands. They flee to other countries to live with speakers of other languages. And in recent years, television, movies and the Internet have made English a worldwide language of communication.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization is trying to solve this problem. It has been taking steps to develop international policies to support native cultures and save endangered languages. In two thousand one, Unesco passed the Universal Declaration13 on Cultural Diversity. It has several goals: To protect all languages. To support the use and teaching14 of native languages at all levels of education. And to help provide other languages on the Internet.

VOICE ONE:

Unesco has a new project to help save languages. It is called the Register15 of Good Practices in Language Preservation16. It is collecting reports of successful experiences of communities in creating new speakers of their languages. These include developing school programs, training teachers, creating pride in a community and developing computer programs in a native language. The information gathered will be shared through the Internet.

VOICE TWO:

The Indigenous Language Institute is a center in the United States for efforts to save native languages. It began in nineteen ninety-two. The headquarters17 of the institute is in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Inee Slaughter18 is the director of the organization. Miz Slaughter says the guiding principle of the institute is to help create speakers of native languages. Miz Slaughter says a language is not a living language unless it is spoken. She says the Indigenous Language Institute must act quickly because within ten years it may be impossible to save many of the languages. Speakers of native languages are dying19 faster than new speakers are learning20 the language.

VOICE ONE:

The Indigenous Language Institute has worked with about one hundred tribes to help them find ways to keep their languages alive. Miz Slaughter says the institute is reaching out to all tribes through its Internet Web site, www.indigenous-language.org. On the Web site, there are examples of successful language programs, reports about conferences and links to other organizations working to save languages.

VOICE TWO:

One of the Indigenous Language Institute's projects is the publication21 of a series of books called "Awakening22 Our Languages." A team of tribal language experts visited fifty-four tribes in the United States. The team wanted to find out how many members of the tribe7 spoke the native language and what was being done to increase the number of speakers. Information about successful programs and methods of teaching languages are included in the series.

Another project is the Language Materials Development Center. Experts are developing and testing language materials as models for communities to use. The institute is also providing technical training so Native language speakers can use computers as tools for teaching languages.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Experts are trying many methods to increase speakers of endangered languages. Some projects are small. For example, a language speaker and a learner meet every day for an hour to talk. Other projects are large, such as schools where students are taught only in their native language.

Miz Slaughter says that one success story is in the American state of Hawaii. In nineteen eighty-three Native Hawaiians began to teach their own language to very young children. They started creating an immersion23 school where only the Hawaiian language would be used. The idea was based on a school established by the Maori people in New Zealand.

VOICE TWO:

Hawaii's Punana Leo or "language nest" project began with a group of young children in pre-school. Now there are eleven pre-schools in the Punana Leo project. And there are several schools where students from ages three to eighteen are taught all subjects in Hawaiian. When the project began, fewer than fifty children in Hawaii spoke Hawaiian.

Today, almost two thousand children are able to speak their native language. Parents of the students are very involved in the Punana Leo schools. Some of them are learning the language along with their children so they can speak Hawaiian at home. Miz Slaughter says family involvement is important so the language is used outside of the school walls. A language needs to be used and spoken in all activities of everyday life to be alive in the future.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

This program was written by Marilyn Christiano. It was produced by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Faith Lapidus. Join us again next week for EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
2 estimate Ti4zb     
n.估计,估量;评价,看法;vt.估计,估量
参考例句:
  • We estimate the cost to be five thousand dollars.我们估计费用为5000美元。
  • The lowest estimate would put the worth of the jewel at $200.按最低的评估这块宝石也值200美元。
3 indigenous YbBzt     
adj.土产的,土生土长的,本地的
参考例句:
  • Each country has its own indigenous cultural tradition.每个国家都有自己本土的文化传统。
  • Indians were the indigenous inhabitants of America.印第安人是美洲的土著居民。
4 heal Fd9xt     
v.使愈合,治愈,使康复;平息(争吵等);消除,解决(分支等)
参考例句:
  • Time helped heal the old wounds.时间有助于治愈旧创伤。
  • This wound will soon heal if yon keep it clean.如果你保持伤口清洁,它很快就会痊愈。
5 grant afvxA     
vt.同意给予,授予,承认;n.拨款;补助款
参考例句:
  • If you grant my request, you will earn my thanks.如果你答应我的要求,就会得到我的感谢。
  • He requested that the premier grant him an internview.他要求那位总理接见他一次。
6 federal RkSxm     
adj.联盟的;联邦的;(美国)联邦政府的
参考例句:
  • Switzerland is a federal republic.瑞士是一个联邦共和国。
  • The schools are screaming for federal aid.那些学校强烈要求联邦政府的援助。
7 tribe XJ2zS     
n.部落,种族,一伙人
参考例句:
  • This is a subject tribe.这是个受他人统治的部落。
  • Many of the tribe's customs and rituals are as old as the hills.这部落的许多风俗、仪式都极其古老。
8 tribes f3d6790faa976a2695d01a08f7b2ba64     
n.部落( tribe的名词复数 );(动、植物的)族;(一)帮;大群
参考例句:
  • tribes living in remote areas of the Amazonian rainforest 居住在亚马孙河雨林偏远地区的部落
  • In Africa the snake is still sacred with many tribes. 非洲许多部落仍认为蛇是不可冒犯的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
10 saving XjYzGK     
n.节省,节约;[pl.]储蓄金,存款
参考例句:
  • Energy saving is term strategic policy of our country.节约能源是我国长期的战略国策。
  • Old-fashioned housewives were usually very saving.旧时的家庭主妇通常都很节俭。
11 tribal ifwzzw     
adj.部族的,种族的
参考例句:
  • He became skilled in several tribal lingoes.他精通几种部族的语言。
  • The country was torn apart by fierce tribal hostilities.那个国家被部落间的激烈冲突弄得四分五裂。
12 Congress eY1y1     
n.(代表)大会;(C-:美国等国的)国会,议会
参考例句:
  • There were some days to wait before the Congress.大会的召开还有几天时间。
  • After 18 years in Congress,he intented to return to private life.在国会供职18年后,他打算告老还乡。
13 declaration rxrxj     
n.宣布,宣告,宣言,声明(书),申报
参考例句:
  • We read the declaration posted on the bulletin board.我们读了贴在布告板上的声明。
  • At the recent convention a declaration was adopted.在最近举行的大会上通过了一项宣言。
14 teaching ngEziT     
n.教学,执教,任教,讲授;(复数)教诲
参考例句:
  • We all agree in adopting the new teaching method. 我们一致同意采取新的教学方法。
  • He created a new system of teaching foreign languages.他创造了一种新的外语教学体系。
15 register YSVzM     
n.登记簿,花名册,注册员;v.登记,注册
参考例句:
  • Please list your name in the attendance register.请在点名册上登记你的名字。
  • He was looking over a hotel register.他正在仔细检查旅馆住宿登记表。
16 preservation glnzYU     
n.保护,维护,保存,保留,保持
参考例句:
  • The police are responsible for the preservation of law and order.警察负责维持法律与秩序。
  • The picture is in an excellent state of preservation.这幅画保存得极为完好。
17 headquarters Eryz21     
n.司令部,指挥部;总部,总店
参考例句:
  • Several great guns from the headquarters are coming to see us today.总部的几个大人物今天要来看我们。
  • The bank has its headquarters in Pairs.这家银行的总行在巴黎。
18 slaughter 8Tpz1     
n.屠杀,屠宰;vt.屠杀,宰杀
参考例句:
  • I couldn't stand to watch them slaughter the cattle.我不忍看他们宰牛。
  • Wholesale slaughter was carried out in the name of progress.大规模的屠杀在维护进步的名义下进行。
19 dying 1rGx0     
adj.垂死的,临终的
参考例句:
  • He was put in charge of the group by the dying leader.他被临终的领导人任命为集团负责人。
  • She was shown into a small room,where there was a dying man.她被领进了一间小屋子,那里有一个垂死的人。
20 learning wpSzFe     
n.学问,学识,学习;动词learn的现在分词
参考例句:
  • When you are learning to ride a bicycle,you often fall off.初学骑自行车时,常会从车上掉下来。
  • Learning languages isn't just a matter of remembering words.学习语言不仅仅是记些单词的事。
21 publication xScxx     
n.出版,发行;出版;公布,发表
参考例句:
  • They don't think this article is suitable for publication.他们认为这篇文章不宜发表。
  • The government has delayed publication of the trade figures.政府已将贸易统计数字延后公布。
22 awakening 9ytzdV     
n.觉醒,醒悟 adj.觉醒中的;唤醒的
参考例句:
  • the awakening of interest in the environment 对环境产生的兴趣
  • People are gradually awakening to their rights. 人们正逐渐意识到自己的权利。
23 immersion baIxf     
n.沉浸;专心
参考例句:
  • The dirt on the bottom of the bath didn't encourage total immersion.浴缸底有污垢,不宜全身浸泡于其中。
  • The wood had become swollen from prolonged immersion.因长时间浸泡,木头发胀了。
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TAG标签:   exploration  half  language
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