Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ayapaneco Language Die Hards

What if you were one of only two men in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD that were the last people ON EARTH to share a common language?

Wouldn't you have fun reminiscing about the old days? Wouldn't you yuk it up in your native language, sad to be the last two people on Earth who spoke it?

Wouldn't you try to enlist the help of younger people or anyone to learn the language so it does not die out with you?

Not these two guys.

The last speakers of the Central American language Ayapaneco hate each other and refuse to talk to one another! They live only half a mile apart and do not converse at all.

Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velazquezto have known each other their entire lives and each is the last of their village to speak in the "old ways" and neither has any intention of talking to the other.

It's nuts!

Isidro Velazquezto continues to speak the language with his wife and son, but they aren't fluent and cannot keep up a conversation, only understanding the jist of what he is saying.

"Those who know the two men are unsure as to whether there is some deep-rooted conflict between them.

Although the Ayapaneco language survived the Spanish conquest it is believed to have suffered as a result of compulsory Spanish education, migration of its speakers and urbanisation.

Daniel Suslak, an Indiana University linguistic anthropologist, is compiling a dictionary to record the existence of the language."

Manuel refuses to speak to Isidro...and vice versa!

Read more: News Article


Ume Sámi - (Sweden) along the Ume River with around 10 people left

Pite Sámi - (Sweden) along the Pite River by between 25 an 50 people

Ter Sámi - (Russia) by two people on the Kola Peninsula

Livonian - (Latvia) with between five and 30 speakers

Votian - (Russia) by less than 20 people

Italkian - (Italy) around 200 people

Yevanic - (Greece, Israel, Turkey and the U.S.) by less than 50 people

Krimchak - (Turkey) around 2,000 Krimchak people but only a handful still speak the language

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