Saving the language of an almost-extinct tribe in Chile

Americas Now

AN SAVING A LANGUAGE 5

A 25-year-old Chilean musician is trying to keep the culture of a tribe alive by saving its language. His name is Keyuk and his mission is to use the ancient words to unite descendants.

Linguists estimate there are some 7,000 different languages still spoken in the world today. But a recent study indicates half of those languages could disappear by the end of the century. Some project one language disappears every four months.

As Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Tierra Del Fuego, Keyuk’s mission is to prevent one of those from becoming a lost language. It is the language of the Selknam Indians.

Keyuk studies linguistics and regularly meets with other young people in Chile and Argentina who are also rediscovering their native roots.  They’re working to receive an official recognition from the government that would designate them as a minority group with political and social rights.

Check out Harris Whitbeck’s package for “Americas Now” and see how reviving a language can help to resurrect a people’s past.

Saving the language of an almost-extinct tribe in Chile

Saving the language of an almost-extinct tribe in Chile

A 25-year-old Chilean musician is trying to keep the culture of a tribe alive by saving its language. His name is Keyuk and his mission is to use the ancient words to unite descendants. Linguists estimate there are some 7,000 different languages still spoken in the world today. But a recent study indicates half of those languages could disappear by the end of the century. Some project one language disappears every four months. As Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Tierra Del Fuego, Keyuk’s mission is to prevent one of those from becoming a lost language. It is the language of the Selknam Indians. Keyuk studies linguistics and regularly meets with other young people in Chile and Argentina who are also rediscovering their native roots. They're working to receive an official recognition from the government that would designate them as a minority group with political and social rights. Check out Harris Whitbeck’s package for "Americas Now" and see how reviving a language can help to resurrect a people’s past.