Monday, November 1, 2010

Saving Threatened Languages

I found a nice video about saving dying languages in Mexico, it was really nice because it gave examples of
people using the language in a contemporary context (a rock band), people from other cultures learning the language.
Here's the video:

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Merengue is a style of music which comes from the Dominican Republic.

There is a strong and (depending on the song)fast beat which makes dancing it different to its counterpart Bachata (the two styles tend to express different feelings, i.e. Merengue has the more party feel while Bachata is very romantic)

This strong beat is expressed in the steps (and hip movements) which you can see here:

I love the fast beat, when music is running at 120 bpm (beats per minute) and over you can really get drawn into the music.

I've got several favourite songs,
firstly let's listen to Elvis Crespo. His song Suavemente was a big hit and helped garner popularity for Merengue:

Check out Oro Solido as well. Here's their song Abusadora:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Afrikaans and Afrikaanses

Afrikaans is a language in South Africa which developed from Dutch with other influences (Khoekhoe - the language known for its click sounds, Malay and English vocabulary).
Afrikaans is spoken mainly by two groups of people in South Africa: Coloureds and Afrikaners.

One of the most interesting things about the language is the lack of verb conjugation in the present tense:
ek isik benI amich bin
jy/u isjij/U bentyou are (sing.)du bist (informal sing.)
hy/sy/dit ishij/zij/het ishe/she/it iser/sie/es ist
ons iswij zijnwe arewir sind
julle isjullie zijnyou are (plur.)ihr seid (informal pl.)
hulle iszij zijnthey areSie (formal sing. & pl.)/sie sind
(Taken from

In regards to the speech community itself: 
Afrikaans speakers have normally been considered Afrikaners (internationally) but this term tends to focus on the white Afrikaner community and excludes the Coloureds and any other speakers.
Afrikaanses is a new name for the community (or "Afrikaanssprekendes") which encompasses all groups.

This identity, especially in present post-apartheid South Africa, has made a place in a variety of contexts:
It is found in a major language association :

ATKV (Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (Afrikaans Language and Cultural Association)
  • This organisation is originally an Afrikaner organisation but now incorporates all speakers and works in various avenues (running a festival, Drama competitions).

Afrikaans op Televisie provides a list of media (movies, docos) regarding Afrikaanses
  • One of the series is called Binnelanders involving a “multiracial Afrikaans speaking community” revolving around the lives of doctors and nurses.
    • Finally, MK is a tv channel in Afrikaans including music and entertainment

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    New blog

    I've started this blog to discuss topics I find important like: languages,
    society, social development, music (and their numerous combinations: sociolinguistics, language development, ethnomusicology).