Tuesday, December 18, 2007


An article excerpt from The Journal News, by Barbara Livingston Nackman:

Johnny Hill Jr., 53, of Parker, Ariz., tells them that his native Chemehuevi tribal tongue will exist as long as he does, but not much more. He dreams in it, and English is his second language.Raised by his grandmother, who died at 102 when he was 21, Hill completed his sophomore year of high school before beginning work as a farmer. He is now a heavy-equipment operator for the federal government.

He doesn't have any children and said there isn't anyone who wants to learn the language, and he is not sure he is capable of teaching it. His wife is from a Nevada tribe and speaks a different Indian language.

"I know I have something special," said Hill, who lives near the Colorado River with the Mohave tribe. "I could just about cry knowing that, soon, the language of my people won't be heard anymore. But a man like me, there isn't much I can do."

With increased demand for languages of limited diffusion in the interpreting community, and many of us wrestling to help meet this demand, a new film comes at a timely moment in our profession's history. Read this excerpt from a recent announcement on the LINGUIS list:

The exciting new documentary feature THE LINGUISTS was selected to world premiere in the newly minted "Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight" category at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

THE LINGUISTS is the first documentary supported by the National Science Foundation to ever make it to Sundance.

The trailer can be viewed at:
http://www.thelinguists.com. Here's a brief synopsis:

It is estimated that of 7,000 languages in the world, half will be gone by the end of this century.

THE LINGUISTS follows David Harrison and Gregory Anderson, scientists racing to document languages on the verge of extinction. In Siberia, India, and Bolivia, the linguists' resolve is tested by the very forces silencing languages: institutionalized racism and violent economic unrest.

David and Greg's journey takes them deep into the heart of the cultures, knowledge, and communities at risk when a language dies.

Interpreters wishing to support the film in Utah are encouraged to attend one (or maybe all) of the following screenings:

Friday, January 18, 12 Noon - Egyptian Theatre, Park City

Saturday, January 19, 12:45 PM - Broadway Centre Cinemas V, Salt Lake City

Saturday, January 19, 11:30 PM - Prospector Square Theatre, Park City

Wednesday, January 23, 9:00 AM, Holiday Village Cinema I, Park City -

Wednesday, January 23, 8:30 PM - Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City

Tickets are available at

Interpreters across the world, let's all do our part to support this film and raise awareness about the importance of protecting these languages (and cultures).