Endangered Languages Summit in Okinawa to discuss 8 UNESCO-listed languages
September 18, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On September 18 at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum, an “Endangered Languages and Dialects Summit” was held. People concerned about the dying out of eight languages listed as endangered by UNESCO discussed how the languages could be passed down to younger generations.
The eight endangered languages are from northern Japan, where the Ainu live, and the Okinawan islands, including Yaeyama, Yonaguni, Amami, Kunigami, Okinawa Main Island, and Miyako.
Professor Masahide Ishihara at the University of the Ryukyus explained the challenges in a recent survey.
“Many people in Okinawa hope to preserve and pass down the languages through school education; however, teaching materials are limited. Teachers cannot speak Shimakutuba (island language) either,” he stated.
Kitahara Mokotunashi from the Hokkaido University explained that their challenge in disseminating the Ainu language is a lack of community space where people can come together to practice and access materials.
The program included a lecture by Shimakutuba entertainer Hayato Fujiki and an audio demonstration comparing endangered languages.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
Previous Article:Berkeley City Assembly resolves to oppose new base construction in Henoko
Next Article:Okinawa’s higher education institutions do not apply for MOD national security research funds
- Symposium on endangered languages held to preserve the Ryukyuan languages
- Ryukyuan Heritage Language Society suggests Okinawa include Ryukyuan languages class in education at schools
- Okinawa holds rally to promote Shimakutuba
- Efforts to preserve eight endangered languages discussed at summit in Yoron
- OPG to start full-scale project to promote Shimakutuba