“The Linguists” chronicles the search for endangered languages

Film captures two ethnographers circling the world to record endangered languages.

The film The Linguists, which was shown at Sundance, will be aired on public television in the United States on February 26, 2009. Funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the film chronicles the work of David Harrison of Swarthmore College and Gregory Anderson of the Living Tongues Institute as they traveled around the world to record languages that are in danger of disappearing.

Interviewed this morning on NPR, the pair of language specialists speak 25 languages together. But they are most interested in the languages that may be gone by tomorrow. The movie promises to be an interesting watch.

If you do not have access to US public television, or your station is not broadcasting the film (mine is showing it at 2:00 AM — thank heaven for TiVo), you might want to order the dvd from the film’s website.


Donna Parrish
Publisher of MultiLingual, Donna Parrish is also co-organizer of the LocWorld conferences. Coming into the language industry from a background of mathematics and computer programming, she has an appreciation for the wizardry of language technology and an awe for linguists.

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