What language or slang did your ancestors use?
History trivia is just so much fun!
I came across this article, When these 19th century farmers wanted to talk about sex, they just invented a new language. Which led to an article in the Daily Mail (UK), The American language spoken by so few people you've likely never heard of it: Boontling, used by men in a remote California logging town, is being kept alive by just 12 speakers - 140 years after it was first devised.
National Geographic has a webpage devoted to this topic – Disappearing Languages: Enduring Voices – Documenting the Planet’s Endangered Languages which includes Talking Dictionaries and resources regarding efforts to revitalize indigenous languages.
I also discovered The Endangered Languages Project.
Humanity today is facing a massive extinction: languages are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. And when that happens, a unique vision of the world is lost. With every language that dies we lose an enormous cultural heritage; the understanding of how humans relate to the world around us; scientific, medical and botanical knowledge; and most importantly, we lose the expression of communities’ humor, love and life. In short, we lose the testimony of centuries of life…
The Endangered Languages Project puts technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront the language endangerment by documenting, preserving and teaching them. Through this website, users can not only access the most up to date and comprehensive information on endangered languages as well as language resources being provided by partners, but also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio or video files…
The extinct or on the verge of disappearing languages were once spoken by our ancestors and reflect their world. It’s much harder to understand their world if the language they used is no longer available to us.
Now, it’s not always whole languages that are disappearing and sometimes it’s the slang words of a time or place that are on the verge of extinction – 50 slang words and phrases that are disappearing (I didn’t recognize any except “to bag school” (“just saying” as my kids would say!)
And, to help keep up with current slang, we find The Online Slang Dictionary (American, English, and Urban slang) which does a slang word of the day.
What language or dialect or slang did your ancestors speak that has or will soon disappear?
What have you learned about them from the extinct (or soon to be extinct) language or dialect or slang they spoke?
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to [email protected]. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to [email protected]
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!