INDIGENOUS BLOGS.

Back in May, I posted about IndigenousTweets.com, a website that tracks speakers of indigenous or minority languages on Twitter; now its proprietor, Kevin Scannell, has “added an exciting new feature to the site that tracks blogs written in 50 indigenous and minority languages”:

You can find this new feature at http://indigenoustweets.com/blogs/ (I also registered http://indigenousblogs.com/ but it should just redirect you to the other address).
For now, I’m only tracking blogs hosted at Blogspot, which hosts more than 90% of the blogs written in the languages I’m interested in. That said, I hope to add other popular services like WordPress, Tumblr, MovableType, etc. going forward.
The site is laid out just like Indigenous Tweets: there is a main page with a table of the supported languages, and then if you click on a language in the table you’ll be taken to a new page that shows all of the blogs in the language along with some statistics for each: number of posts, percentage of posts in the language, total number of words, date and title of last post.

There are feeds on each language page; “these will contain every post in every blog written in the language.” You can, of course, subscribe to individual blogs, and he urges you to submit new ones. An excellent project, and I thank Stan for alerting me to it.

Comments

  1. It’s a pity Indigenous Blogs doesn’t list languages like Uighur, Kazakh (in traditional script), Mongolian (in traditional script). These are very much ‘indigenous languages’ in China, and for political reasons web sites and blogs in these languages appear to be suppressed by the Chinese authorities.

  2. This link on palaeolinguistics (http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/adventures-of-a-palaeolinguist/) might be of interest, Hat. You might also find that Clackson’s name rings a bell…

  3. Thanks, Dino! Here‘s the direct link. Odd that the story says “The common ancestor of English and German, or its ‘parent language’, is called proto-Germanic. It is one branch of a much bigger family called Indo-European, which encompasses Latin and Greek as well as Sanskrit, the language of Ancient India,” but then doesn’t go on to point out that Frentinian is a member of the family (it seems to be a dialect of Sabellian, or Oscan in the wider sense).

  4. michael farris says:

    Bathrobe, is there actually a modern printing tradition (newspapers, books) in Mongolian traditional script? I remember at one time looking for some online but couldn’t find anything. I didn’t know if this is Chinese web policy or if Mongolians in China just don’t read and write much in Mongolian.
    Everything I did find was from Mongolia and in Cyrillic. If anything it seems there’s more Mongolian on the web in adhoc Latinization than in traditional script.

  5. There are books in traditional Mongolian script, and there are a few bookshops in Hohhot that sell them. I’ve been to the main ones, which is roughly three. However, the variety of books is not that large — certainly not compared with what’s available in Chinese. I don’t know if any newspapers are printed in the traditional script. I’ve never seen any, but they could exist. This site suggests that they do (although I don’t see anything after 2009!):
    http://szb.northnews.cn/nmgmw/paperindex.htm
    As for the Internet, there are a few sites in the traditional script. I don’t know anything specific, but I remember reading somewhere (and I’m pretty sure it’s true) that the Chinese government doesn’t encourage them. Perhaps represses them would be a more appropriate expression. They are the first place that separatist sentiment is likely to break out, and the Chinese government is very sensitive to that sort of thing.
    I once found a few websites in Mongolian, but have no idea how I did it. For a taste, try these, found by searching Google and Baidu in Chinese:
    http://202.207.7.23/mgolianweb/mongolbar.Page1.htm
    http://www.burgud.com/
    (At Burgud, the very bottom advertisement at the right hand side of the page allows you to download a traditional Mongolian input system, called 赛因. I don’t think it’s usable on a Mac).
    http://mng.mgwhw.com/Default.aspx
    http://mongol.people.com.cn/
    http://www.hlberb.com/
    http://mng.ulaaq.com/
    http://www.haraa.net/
    Since I’m using a pre-Lion Mac OSX, I can’t actually see what’s written there, but I’m pretty sure it’s Mongolian!
    There is some other stuff around, but it’s pretty meagre pickings compared with what’s available for Chinese.

  6. This page lists sites for Mongolian, Tibetan, and Uighur, if you’re interested:
    http://www.docin.com/p-10071098.html

  7. Sorry to keep coming back, but this newspaper is published online in Uighur (Arabic script), Uighur (Latin script), Uighur (Cyrillic script):
    http://www.xjtsnews.com/normal/content/bak/index.htm
    http://www.xjtsnews.com/normal/content/lading/index.htm
    http://www.xjtsnews.com/normal/content/silafu/index.htm
    Content appears to be identical.

  8. michael farris says:

    Bathrobe, thanks. It looks like there’s a little out there, though not much.
    I assume one problem the Chinese authorities have is not wanting information they don’t understand being spread to easily.
    disclaimer: I’m not one of those people who thinks Mongolia should return to the traditional script: I think cyrillic works just fine. I predict that if Mongolia _did_ return to the traditional script that China would officially change to something else, maybe phags-pa…

  9. I happened to come across a pdf of a newspaper in traditional Mongolian script quite recently. What was it called… ah, here we are, Ordos Daily. Appears to be an official Party newspaper published in Ordos City. The pdf I have is dated July of 2010.

  10. John Emerson says:

    Buryat! Kalmyk! Photo Printing, you don’t know anything!

  11. How much printing, publishing, or blogging goes on in traditional Mongolian characters in Buryatia or Kalmykia?

  12. @michael farris: Sources seem to say that Inner Mongolians usually understand the Cyrillic script fairly well. Indeed, the paucity of Mongolian-language text that I see on Douban (A Chinese site somewhere between Facebook, Amazon and Metafilter) are usually in Cyrillic.

  13. David Marjanović says:

    Off-topic… I just clicked on minus273′s signature. A few clicks away, there’s the abstract of a PhD thesis about a highly endangered language with a highly awesome sound system. As in… “make” [kfː], “moon” [ksks]. There’s a link to the pdf.

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