Endangered Languages Week 2011 - London's Language Landscape
School of Oriental and African Studies
9 - 14 May 2011
This page last updated: 5 May 2011.
This year as part of Endangered Languages Week on the Open Day, Thursday 12th May, some of the MA students in the ELAP and Linguistics programmes will present an exhibition on the dialects and varieties of languages spoken in London, including those spoken at SOAS, in order to begin to build up a picture of Londonís Language Landscape. We aim to focus on the speakers of the languages, to seek their views on their language and what living in London as a speaker of that language means to them.
We will achieve this through conducting audio interviews with participants. We will also record the speakersí favourite words or short texts, a saying, a poem or a song in their language, if they wish. Alternatively, they may prefer to make their contribution in writing, which we also use in our exhibition. Above all, we hope to convey how important a mother tongue is to its speakers. We wish to highlight the diversity of the linguistic landscape of SOAS by building a map showing the languages spoken by students and staff.
The audio files and written contributions will form the basis of the interactive exhibition. During Open Day, visitors will be able to listen to the recordings and learn about the speakers of the different languages in London.
We hope that the project will not only contribute to creating a valuable linguistic database of SOAS, but also raise awareness of the presence of Linguistic Department in the School, and of the existence of Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.
Photos taken by Karolina Grzech.
Photo top right: Anissa Safi and a map of languages spoken by students in London.
Photo bottom left: interview between Caspar Jordan and Katriina Ranne, recording Finnish