A film featuring the amazing work of my friend David Harrison and his colleague Greg Anderson - linguists studying dying languages across the planet - has been chosen for the Sundance Festival in 2008! The film, called (unsurprisingly) "The Linguists" follows David and Greg as they travel to extremely remote areas of the world, documenting languages facing extinction. Currently, there 7,000 languages on our planet. However, we lose a language approximately every two weeks, and, within a hundred years, half of the world's languages will have died. As the last speakers, elderly and isolated, pass away, their languages - and so many elements of their knowledge systems - will simply cease to exist. David, Greg, and other concerned linguists are working hard to document these tongues before they vanish. It's fascinating and tragic and, in our shrinking world, probably inevitable.
If you will be at Sundance, I encourage you to try to get a ticket! It will be shown four times during the festival, and David and Greg will be there for Q&A.