Friday, June 29, 2012

Canary Islands Whistle Language

Recently, I was talking with a foreign language teacher about languages offered in public schools. I remember having choices of Spanish, German, French, Italian and Latin when I was in high school. Nowadays, with our ever changing world, we see offerings of Arabic, Chinese and others that were never offered when I was in high school. 

I've always been fascinated with languages even though I could never quite master them. Some have a musical appeal, like Swedish and certain Chinese dialects.

My friend and I wondered how school boards choose the languages that are taught today because of the large number of dialects of languages, like Chinese. 

I can't even imagine what African languages would be chosen. Maybe, Swahili? Within just that one language, I'm sure there are many, many dialects.

When I was in college, one of my courses included a study of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. The Igbo, is one ethnic group, but there are also the Yorubas and Hausas. All speak the same language but with different dialects. 

There are over 6,000 endangered languages around the world, some of which are now being taught in schools.  One we learned about, when we first visited Switzerland, is Romansh, one of the four official languages of Switzerland. It's a language of the mountain people and hadn't been taught in schools until they brought it back a few years ago. 


"Romansh is a romance language of the Rhaetian group spoken in northern Italy and Switzerland, primarily in the Rhine Valley in the Swiss canton of Graub√ľnden (Grisons)."

Listen to the sounds of some of these words. You'll hear the definite ties to Italian and French and of course, German.

Then there's the unusual whistle language of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa. One of my favorite principals told fascinating stories to me about his summer vacations in the Canaries and the whistle language. I've never forgotten it. 

This YouTube video is a fascinating account of the history, people and whistle language of La Gomera (Canary Islands) It shows kids in school learning the whistles.

Whistled language of the island of La Gomera (Canary Islands), the Silbo Gomero - YouTube

It's important we save these endangered languages, both orally and written forms.

Have a wonderful summer!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Polka Dot Monsters

I decided to try my hand at creating some clip art. I've always loved to draw and do art work so this was FUN!

I just finished a bunch of borders and frames but want to work on more before posting them.

Here are two of four polka dot monsters I made today... Maybe I should call them "critters"???

I'm up for suggestions! What would you call them? Crumpies? Thingamajiggies? :)

Update  6/19/2012

I've removed my critters for now. I want to finish the set. Stay tuned! :)