1) The late, great Leonard Nimoy talks about his Jewish background (growing up in a neighborhood of Boston much like my late friend Allan Herman’s Bensonhurst, a mix of Italian and Jewish), occasionally breaking into Yiddish; funny and moving. Thanks, Paul!
2- Also via Paul, the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language: a new website, and now free!
3) Xaq Rzetelny’s “Lots of users mean languages gain more words“: “The results don’t explain why smaller populations lose words more quickly while large populations are faster gainers. But the researchers point out that their results are consistent with random drift leading to word loss in the smaller populations and with more word innovations in the larger populations leading to faster word gain.”
4) K. David Harrison’s “Manx’s Surprising Revival“:
In the 1980s, activists who had learned Manx as adults launched a bold social experiment. They raised their children bilingually, speaking exclusively Manx to them in the home, and letting them speak English elsewhere. These children, now grown, are the “new native speakers.”
Today, seventy Manx children, mostly from English-speaking homes, attend Bunscoill Ghaelgagh immersion school. Led by educator Julie Matthews, eager pupils sing Manx songs, skip rope to Manx rhymes, and study science and mathematics in their heritage tongue.
As early adopters of technology, the Manx have created iPhone apps, learning videos and social media sites. They text, podcast, and even translate movies into Manx using the subtitling platform Viki.com. Technology extends Manx’s reach far beyond the island. As Rob Teare notes : “Now there’s no physical restraint on the language. It’s global.”
Thanks to Stephen Johnson for the link!