Back in 2007 I mentioned a movie, The Linguists, which “follows David Harrison and Gregory Anderson, scientists racing to document languages on the verge of extinction.” I said then “I certainly hope I get to see it some day,” and that day is almost here, because it’s going to be on PBS this Thursday. You can read about it at this Language Log post by Eric Bakovic, who just reminded everyone to Set your recorders now! (If, of course, you live in the U.S.)


  1. 3:00 am Friday for some (I’m in Calgary, and get my PBS from Spokane).
    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Canadians get PBS too through broadcast and cable, thankfully. Looking forward to it!

  3. I saw the film; it’s decent, and language-interested folk will find much of interest, but as a filmmaker I was a bit disappointed in the end result. Still, anyone here to read this comment should certainly see it!

  4. I sure can’t find the scheudle for it. When I search I keep getting errors.
    “The Linguists premieres Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 10:00pm.”
    Not here it doesn’t. Is this supposed to be eastern time?

  5. Maybe “Worldview”?

  6. One of the most striking lessons of the film is how political language can be. On Harrison and Anderson’s map of the geography of endangered languages, the hot spots tends to be place where colonizers (the Spanish in Bolivia, the Russians in Siberia) have suppressed indigenous languages. In some places a language gets banned; in other places it is merely belittled.

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