November 17, 2011

VIDEO: Is English one of publishing’s endangered languages?


We read in Publishing Perspectives that English is no longer the lingua franca of the publishing industry in India because a large number of local languages are now being translated directly into foreign languages, entirely cutting out the colonial middleman. The same just happened to Haruki Murakami‘s latest book, IQ84, which was translated directly from Japanese to Farsi — no English required.

Recently, the Indian Ministry of Culture published a catalog with 32 Indian writers writing in 11 different languages in order to “give people an idea of the bewildering diversity of writing available.” And yet, even though there are about 7,000 languages existing in the world, only 83 are predominantly spoken/written from that extensive list. As Stephen Colbert says: “The sooner they die off, the faster we English speakers can build that tower to heaven…”

See Professor K. David Harrison of the Living Tongues Institute defend endangered languages on the Colbert Report:

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive