Of the 700 Speakers of Seke, a Nepalese Language, 150 Live in Two Apartment Buildings in Brooklyn

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, many languages used by small populations are dying out. The Endangered Language Alliance, which is headquartered in New York City, is committed to preserving as many of them as it can.

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During its work, the organization has found that many of these endangered languages can be found in New York City itself. For example, Seke, which is used by about 700 people, originates in a few villages in Nepal. But because everyone eventually comes to New York City, about 150 Seke speakers live in two particular apartment buildings in Brooklyn.

The New York Times reports on the presence of endangered languages in the City. The article is paywalled, but you can find a long excerpt at Languagehat. It says that there are at least 41 endangered languages in Manhattan alone. The article also addresses what makes a language endangered and the characteristics unique to endangered languages, such as the absence of formal greetings. Seke has no word or phrase for “hello” because it is rare for a Seke-speaking person to encounter a stranger who also speaks Seke.

-via Nag on the Lake | Photo: ELA event celebrating the Galifuna language

Source: neatorama

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