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I am trying to raise €12,000 for activities concerning the revitalization of Minderico (an endangered language spoken in Minde, Portugal), mainly its implementation at the local school.
Some background information
Almost half of the 7,000 languages spoken around the world is in danger of disappearing in about one generation. Many of them haven't been documented until now. There is an urgent need to describe and document as many languages as we can, not only to
provide future linguists and researchers in adjacent disciplines with as full a body of data as
possible, but – more importantly – to preserve for the whole of humankind the invaluable
cultural wealth and indigenous knowledge they contain, by collaborating with the speech communities in the revitalization of their languages and their adaptation to the new challenges in our everyday life. In general there is a strong tendency to learn and use only the major languages such as English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, etc., especially in electronic communication.The goal of this project is to turn that process in exactly the other direction by giving the school kids the possibility to get to know and learn an endangered language (the language of their ancestors), its cultural richness and identitary power and by making them aware of the linguistic diversity and the importance of balanced multilingualism.
This project focus on Minderio (ISO code /drc/) which is an Ibero-Romance highly endangered language spoken in Minde (Portugal) by a community of 150 active speakers and 1000 passive speakers (those who understand the language but don't speak it). Minderico emerged in the 17th century as a secret language, the language of the wool carders and merchants of the famous blankets of Minde.
(Production of the traditional blankets of Minde)
Contrary to what normally happens to secret languages, Minderico extended to all social groups in Minde and became the main means of communication in the village. In this process, Minderico enlarged its vocabulary as well as its scope of application (Minderico was used in every context of daily life) and turned into a full-fledged language with a very characteristic prosody and a complex morphosyntax - though rare, this is not an unknown phenomenon in the languages of the world, but one that emphasizes the linguistic and cultural importance of Minderico!
Today, Minderico risks becoming extint more than ever before in its history. The intergenerational transmission has been interrupted - the younger generation is not learning the language at home anymore and it has no opportunity to learn it at school; the number of speakers decreased considerably in the last 40 years (also due to the decline in the population of the village as a consequence of the crisis in the textile industry); the language lost its scope of application, being now used only in familiar contexts (with family and friends), since Portuguese is the language of administration, education, economy, media, etc. If we add to this description the fact that Minderico is not officially recognized in Portugal as a language or as an endangered linguistic variety and thus it is not (financially) supported by the national or local authorities, its future becomes even more critical. The non-recognition is also an obstacle for the presence of Minderico at the local school.
This project represents an important step to change the current situation and to strengthen the presence of Minderico at the local school and in the community. The revitalization of a language can only succeed, if you are able to involve the whole speech community (not only an elite) and to motivate the younger generation for the language, bringing it to their daily life.
We believe that the future of Minderico depends on the younger generation. Since Minderico is not recognized as an official language, its presence at school is inexistant or very limited. It cannot belog to the school curriculum as an autonomous subject. But, in the year 2013 and 2014, I, together with Rita Pedro (a member of the speech community), offered voluntarly Minderico as an optional class at the local school. It was only a pilot project to check the interest of the kids and their parents. The feedback was overwhelming and we were able to teach more than 40 pupils between 6 and 12 years old.
In order to continue this project and implement Minderico at the local school in a comprehensive, responsible and successful way, contributing decisively for its revitalization, we need to:
The project will start in September 2015, with the next school year, and will last one year (until September 2016).
The accomplishment of these tasks is only possible with your support! By supporting this project you are helping to maintain language and cultural diversity in our globalized society!
If we hit the minimum of €8,900 we will be able to:
With the full target of €12,000 we will be also able to:
We have some great rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out.
(Documentating Minderico at a local café)
(Documenting Minderico and textile production in Minde)
(BandaLheira performing in Minderico for the first time at Liet International 2014 - Music festival for minority languages in Europe)
(Scene of the first short film in Minderico - A Cabiçalva)
(People praying in Minderico at main church in Minde)
Have you sponsored this project? If so, log in to comment on updates!
And here is the GOOD NEWS:
With all the individual donations and the support of Câmara Municipal de Alcanena (city council) approved last Monday, we were able to reach the minimum (8.900) to carry out the project to revitalize Minderico.
Personally and on behalf of the team, I would like to thank you for believing in our work. We are not far from the total amount needed and your help is still fundamental!
First of all, we would like to thank all of you that believed in this project and supported it. LINCE ANCHO!
Unfortunately, we haven't reached the minimum needed for the campaign to be successful... BUT... there is GOOD NEWS that we are going to share with you very soon! Stay tuned!
At the end of our campaign, here is the interview I gave to Antena 2 Ciência about Minderico. It was boadcasted on Monday (12.10.2015). I hope you enjoy!
Discover everything about Minderico and this project - a story in the first person. / Descobre tudo sobre o minderico e este projecto - uma história na primeira pessoa
Vera Ferreira, a linguista que quer salvar o minderico
(More / Mais: http://www.mediotejo.net/alcanena-vera-ferreira-a-linguista-que-quer-salvar-o-minderico/)
Piação do Ninhou, A língua de Minde em risco de desaparecer
(More / Mais: http://www.mediotejo.net/alcanena-piacao-do-ninhou-a-lingua-de-minde-em-risco-de-desaparecer/)
Today, Minderico was the topic of the national radio programme Antena 2 Ciência. The interview that I gave will be broadcasted on October 12th.
There are only 15 days left to reach the minimum needed. Now it's time to spread the word even more. Can you help us?
Princess Pea is now an official partner of our campaign. Princess Pea is particularly interested in helping with the children's book.
"Princess Pea is a brand of products of daily use valued through the art of illustration. Based on the vast universe of folk tales for children, Princess Pea fancies the most different times of day-to-day, making the illustration of some of the most respected national [Portuguese] illustrators more visible, more accesible and more appreciated." (source: http://www.princesspea.net)
Thank you, Princess Pea, for joining this cause.
Conheça toda a campanha em português (descrição, objectivos, actividades, recompensas, etc.):
Qualquer dúvida não hesite em nos contactar: firstname.lastname@example.org
(source: Princess Pea)
Uau... the Portuguese novelist, animator, illustrator and musician Afonso Cruz is one of the promoters and supporters of our campaign!
He will help us with the creation of the children's book. Thank you for your commitment to this cause! Lince ancho!
Art Institute (New York / São Paulo / Lisbon) has joined us and is also promoting our campaign. Great!
Thank you, Foundation for Endangered Languages, for spreading the word! (Newsletter Ogmios 57, August 31)
Today, I presented the campaign in an interview to the national radio station Antena 1. I hope you enjoy it - it was early in the morning! :)
We received today the t-shirt of the project. Nice :) Would you like to have one?
We and Minderico say "Lince ancho" (thank you) for your support.
The Portuguese writer, poet, singer and songwriter Pedro Barroso is supporting and promoting the revitalization of Minderico. Minderico says "lice ancho" (thank you)!
In his album Cantos à Terra Madre (1982), he performed a song in Minderico. You can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/laranja49/pedro-barroso-a-pia-o-dos
The Portuguese press is also talking about our crowdfunding campaign:) Nice.
Now, we need your support to make it possible!
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