Language diversity can be understood as a richness, as a challenge: political, instutional and educational, but also as a reminder that some languages are in a fragile situation. The videos in this section explore and illustrate these aspects of language diversity.
This video was produced by the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York in 2010, on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, to raise awareness on the importance on languages today.
The author of the video asked his Santa Barbara classmates from Mauritious, India and Nigeria about English and the education system in their respective countries.
Speaking in Tongues: The History of Language Episode #2 Constant Change preview
In this program, John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language; Lyle Campbell, of the University of Utah; Brian Joseph, of The Ohio State University; and population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza examine factors that contributed to the diversification and spread of languages, including early migration, the introduction of agriculture, and genes. Language transfer from mother to child and from one population to the next is also investigated, along with the concept of dialects and commonalities among the worlds more than 6,000 languages. (48 minutes) One part of a five part ground breaking documentary series
Speaking in Tongue: The History of language Episode # 3 Mother Tongue – preview
This program travels the globe as it surveys a large portion of the worlds languages—25 percent of which are spoken by a mere 0.1 percent of the Earths population. Moving from Africa to Oceania and up to Asia and then west to Europe and across the ocean to the Americas, the program assesses how many languages are spoken in each region, the characteristics they share, and misconceptions about them. Historical background on some of the key languages of the regions is included as well. The commentary of Salikoko Mufwene, coeditor of The Ecology of Language Evolution; Larry Hyman, of U.C. Berkeley; Hua Lin, of the University of Victoria; Harvard Universitys Jay Jasanoff; and Lyle Campbell, of the University of Utah, is featured. (48 minutes) Produced by One part of a five part ground breaking documentary series