"My Language is...."Video

Students: Eva Cardenas, Tamara Carter, Carol Field

Project’s Purpose

The extinction of indigenous languages is a growing global concern. Michael Krauss, linguist, is quoted by Leanne Hinton (2001) as asserting that “at the rate things are going, over half of the languages of the world could be extinct within a hundred years” (Michale Krauss as quoted by Hinton, 2001, p.3). This sentiment is also displayed on the National Geographic (Disappearing Languages) website (n.d., n.p.). As these languages disappear, the unique knowledge, cultural traditions, and stories of their speakers disappear with them (Zuckermann, 2013). There are many questions regarding the causes of “language death” (Crystal, 2000), however, one means for revitalizing these languages is for the community to become involved Crystal, 2000). He postulates that “The community’s ability to make its presence felt in the local media can be important – it was a major factor in the reversal of the decline of Welsh, for example” (p.89). Krause makes the poignant assertion that “the degree of that loss can be affected by our response to the threat” (Michael Krauss as quoted by Hinton, 2001, p.90). It is with this latter point in mind that this project aims to create an active response in support of the existing fight against indigenous languages, and to aid their revitalization. We propose to achieve this goal by using technology (video recordings and Blippar,) and multimedia (YouTube) to present these powerful recorded messages in their mother languages.

Description of the project

The final product will be a video of people from a variety of language backgrounds introducing themselves in their native language, identifying their native language, and ending with one of our four sign slogans (My language is beautiful, My language is valuable, My language is important, or My language is unique). At the end of the project video, “My language is ____” will appear, and then a succession of different words that people use to describe what their language is to them will fill in the blank, including the words from the signs.

Eva will begin by doing a video recording of class members and editing this recording using iMovie. The recording will become part of our booth display for the International Mother Language Day event, and used as a place holder on YouTube (described later). Tammy will use frames from Eva’s video to produce individual still shots that will later become trigger images through Blippar, an augmented reality application, allowing booth visitors to view the video on their phones. To produce handouts, 4 - 6 of the still shots will be placed on a sheet, printed off, and then cut into individual images. The YouTube address and instructions for downloading and installing Blippar will be on the back of the handouts. Carol will video record participants during the festival at a quiet, nearby location. To edit her videos, Carole will use Premier Pro, video editing software. When completed, Carol will upload the video to the same YouTube address as the placeholder video for the previous video (mentioned above). A week prior to IMLD, Carol will create a Facebook (Fb) event to display the video recordings to recruit more participation for the event.


Crystal, D. (2000). Language death. Ernst Klett Sprachen.

Hinton, L. (2001). Language revitalization: An overview. The green book of language revitalization in practice, 3-18.

National Geographic. Disappearing Languages [Video file]. (retrieved from http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/enduring-voices/)

Zuckermann, G. (June 26, 2013). “Historical and moral arguments for language reclamation.” History and philosophy of language sciences. Retrieved from: (https://hiphilangsci.net/2013/06/26/historical-and-moral-arguments-for-language-reclamation/)