writing across society, culture, environment, politics, economy

Posts tagged “language

Losing nature and culture: losses in biodiveristy and languages

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In a previous post I wrote about the parallels between the loss of languages and the loss of biodiversity. I was interested in the external forces that drove both biodiversity and languages to the margins, often resulting in extinction. A recent article discusses the findings of a new report which establishes a direct link between the loss of biodiversity and loss of languages. The authors of the report claim that “the steep declines in both languages and nature mirror each other”, and “linguistic diversity is declining as fast as biodiversity – about 30% since 1970.”

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Race b(l)ending: the strange case of the film ‘Cloud Atlas’

This week I watched the film Cloud Atlas, which is based on the David Mitchell novel of the same name. I recently read the novel and really liked it, so, I wasn’t keen to watch the movie. After all, film versions of much-loved novels rarely live up to expectations.

I was somewhat reluctant to watch it for another reason: I had read that in scenes set in a futuristic dystopian Korea, characters who are supposed to be Korean are played by Caucasian actors made up to look Korean. Why in this day and age would you use Caucasian actors for non-Caucasian characters? In a time when communication and travel between countries and continents is the easiest it has ever been, why couldn’t the film-makers hire actors with the right heritage or ‘look’ for the role?

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The colonising of culture and nature: losses in languages and biodiversity

What are the parallels between the loss of languages and the loss of biodiversity?

In We Haven’t Spoken For All Languages, Claire Bowern discusses the loss of languages around the world and the efforts to catalogue and ‘save’ these dying languages. The loss of languages is a concern as languages are the repository of so much more than just words, grammar and speech. As Bowern eloquently explains:

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