British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Linguists, The

Synopsis
Like modern-day explorers, the two academics featured in The Linguists travel to forgotten places around the globe to unearth rare treasures—in this case, endangered languages. On a shoestring budget, professors David Harrison and Gregory Anderson navigate difficult terrain, searching for speakers of these forgotten and mostly hidden languages. While more than 7,000 different languages are currently spoken around the world, many are rapidly disappearing. Language diversity is shrinking as colonialism and economic unrest destroy traditional tribal tongues. When young people abandon their ancestral language, the passive suppression of their culture begins, and soon those languages will cease to exist. Joining a traditional ceremony in a remote village in India, observing a Kallawaya healing ritual in Bolivia, and completing an arduous journey into Siberia are all part and parcel of heeding the urgent call. The word connoisseurs are well suited for the monumental task of researching and documenting native tongues; they speak 25 languages between them. These humble ethnographers are in a race against time to preserve the increasingly rare words, which are intricately linked to the vanishing traditions and heritage of Indigenous populations. Well-paced and laced with humour, The Linguists serves as an insightful, contemporary adventure film with a strong emphasis on cultural history.
DVD extras include: 30 minutes of material profiling endangered languages around the world and efforts to archive and revive them; Discussion guide created by Dr. K. David Harrison and the Center for Applied Linguistics.
Language
English
Country
United States
Year of release
2008
Year of production
2007
Subjects
Anthropology; Languages
Keywords
languages; Linguistics

Online availability

URI
http://www.babelgum.com/thelinguists

Credits

Director
Daniel A. Miller; Jeremy Newberger; Seth Kramer
Contributor
David Harrison; Gregory Anderson

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 1 NTSC
Price
$300.00
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
65 minutes
Year
2009

Production Company

Name

Ironbound Films, Inc.

Email
INFO@IRONBOUNDFILMS.COM
Web
http://ironboundfilms.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
00+ 1 845 424 3700
Fax
00+ 1 845 424 3753
Address
PO Box 441
Garrison
New York
10524
USA

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