Saving Language

Thomas Hawk via Creative Commons Flickr

December 4, 2016
(was 06.23.2014)

Thousands of the world's languages are disappearing in the wake of globalization. And because language is the DNA of culture, a lost language is a lost culture. Today, stories from the frontlines of the language revitalization movement. Also, Dr. Larry Brilliant's improbable journey from the Summer of Love and Indian ashrams to the eradication of smallpox.

  1. Language Warriors - David Harrison

    David Harrison travels to some of the most remote places in the world, documenting endangered languages.  He tells us about the language warriors:  the last speakers of ancestral languages.  Many of them are trying to preserve and revive their native tongues.

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    Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
  2. Yung Yiddish - Danna Harman

    Journalist Danna Harman takes us to the epicenter of the rebirth of a dying language -- the Yung Yiddish library in Tel Aviv.   This story is part of a collaboration between TTBOOK and the Hebrew-language radio show, "Israel Story."

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    Average: 5 (16 votes)
  3. The Word Exchange - Alena Graedon

    Alena Graedon's debut novel is an intellectual thriller set in the near future.  Print is dead, words have been monetized, and a "word flu" is running rampant.  The book is called "The Word Exchange."

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    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
  4. The Hippie Doctor

    Larry Brilliant is a doctor, co-founder of the digital social network the Well, and he was the first executive director of But back in the Sixties, he was a hippie doctor who joined Wavy Gravy's traveling bus caravan and then landed in an Indian ashram in the Himalayas, where his guru told him his destiny was to help cure smallpox. Miraculously, his U.N. team of doctors eradicated the world's remaining cases of this terrible disease. He tells Steve Paulson about a remarkable moment in history when anything seemed possible.

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    Average: 4.8 (4 votes)