“Do You Speak Polyglot?”

Marking the European Day of Languages the Alliance Française, Instituto Cervantes and Società Dante Alighieri in Manchester organised an online talk with myself and Richard Simcott. We shared experiences and tips for language learning and discussed the challenges and advantages of polyglotism.

German elections and the Frisian language

Includes an interview with the candidate for the Danish and Frisian minority for parliament, Stefan Seidler, where he explains that the Frisian language and culture have no continued funding, but rely on project funding, which he hopes to change. For the first time in 60 years his party, the SSW is represented in the German parliament, the Bundestag. (“An Là” on BBC ALBA, 24/9/21) in Gaelic.

Min Öömrang Lun – anthem of Amrum island in the Northern Frisian language

Classified by Unesco as severely endangered and spoken only by around 10,000 people you would think a “model” democracy like Germany would pull out all the stops to support Northern Frisian. But Welsh and Scottish Gaelic enjoy much more government help. I hope this little video adds awareness at least (sorry for the wind noise at the start).

The state of the Frasch (Northern Frisian) language: Since recording this video on the island of Oomrem/ Amrum I have found out that you can do an A-level/ Higher in Frisian only in one (1) high school situated on Feer/ Föhr.

Geizige Schotten. Warum eigentlich? Und was wohl dran sein mag?

Schon Theodor Fontane fühlte sich in Oban an der schottischen Westküste von einer alten Waschfrau überfordert. Es ist wohl die komischste Szene seines Buches “Jenseit des Tweed”. Aber ich lebe jetzt seit 18 Jahren hier und habe die Schotten immer als äußerst gastfreundlich und großzügig kennengelernt. In der Tat hat ihre Liebenswürdigkeit entscheidend dazu beigetragen, daß ich letztendlich nach Schottland ausgewandert bin. Was ist also dran, an dem Klischee? SWR 2 Matinée (11.7.21)

Are the Sinixt still considered extinct?

Canada’s Supreme Court recently granted the Sinixt hunting rights in their traditional territory. Some celebrated this as a reversal of the declaration of extinction of the Sinixt people by Canada in the 1950ies. But others say it’s not, as they still don’t have land rights. As seen on “An Là” on BBC ALBA on 1/6/21 (Sinixt territory footage by Ali Kazimi).

Is it possible to revive a dead language?

The Wampanoag language had died in the 19th century, but with the help of an old Bible (and other documents) they have reconstructed it and are now teaching classes. There are said to be around 10 fluent speakers so far. An exhibition about their culture has opened in Plymouth. As seen on “An Là” on BBC ALBA on 22/5/21.

Wählt Schottland heute die Unabhängigkeit?

In Schottland wird heute ein Regionalparlament gewählt. Es scheint aber, als wäre es in erster Linie eine Abstimmung über ein erneutes Unabhängigkeitsreferendum. Die europafreundlichen Schotten wollen wieder zurück in die EU und die Europafahne weht weiterhin vor dem Parlament in Edinburg (gesendet am 6.5.2021).

Werden die Schotten mehrheitlich Parteien wählen, die die Unabhängigkeit anstreben? Wird es ein zweites Referendum geben? Wollen die Schotten immer noch zurück in die EU? Gesendet am 6.5.2021.