Endangered Languages at the Queens Museum

June 7, 2016

ELA is collaborating with the Queens Museum, at the center of one of the most linguistically diverse places on earth, on two exhibits and a series of public events. This Saturday June 11, from 2 to 4 pm, “Languages Lost and Found: A Roundtable” will feature writers, translators, linguists and practitioners discussing language endangerment, revitalization and multilingualism in both a local (New York) and global context.

While you’re there, check out The Garden of Forked Tongues, a giant mural created by artist Mariam Ghani based on ELA data, in which each of the 59 polygons on the wall represents an endangered language spoken in Queens. Just a gallery over is Mother Tongues, a series of portraits of endangered language speakers by Yuri Marder.

On May 29, ELA hosted its day-long open recording session at the museum, recoriding interviews in Hokkien, Cantonese, Kichwa, Tibetan, Nepali, Mustangi, Tamang, Tashelhiyt, and Southern Zaza, not to mention Spanish and English (about language issues). We talked to devout Buddhists, political refugees, visitors from Malaysia, and a career translator for the NY state supreme court, among others.

Queens Language Mural