Local Goa News

Friday, August 26, 2016

Is Konkani one of the 7k languages under threat?

Mangaluru: "According to a Unesco report, if efforts are not made, half of the 7,000-plus languages spoken today across the globe will vanish by end of 2100. This, in turn, will kill the rich heritage and culture associated with these languages," said J R Lobo, MLA, Mangaluru City south, in his keynote address at the inauguration of a two-day national seminar on 'Konkani speaking people of coastal Karnataka and their Anglo-Portuguese connection', recently in Mangaluru.

Citing the example of an indigenous tribe of Australia and how the government acted swiftly to preserve their language and tradition, Lobo said, "The Australian government came forward to save the Australian aboriginal languages, but no such effort has been made so far in our country," he criticized, adding that Sanskrit is dying a slow death due to such negligence.
He also gave the example of revival of century-old Hebrew language, spoken in Israel and Palestine. "Language can survive only with the support of people," he said.
He said a language gets extinct every 14 days, at twice the extinction rate of endangered mammals and birds.
Basti Vaman Shenoy, director, Vishwa Konkani Kendra, Mangaluru, said, "There are records to prove that Konkanis were involved in foreign trade, public administration and education thousands of years ago. But the Portuguese assaulted the language and its culture in Goa,"
"People of Tulunadu provided shelter and love for the migrated Konkanis. Tulunadu gave scope for development of Konkanis by helping them establish trade, educational institutions, temples, churches and banks. Languages like Konkani, Pali and Sanskrit are to be preserved. Scholars from many communities and backgrounds are needed to do this. It is not a job of one institution or one generation alone," he added.
The seminar was organized by Besant Evening College, in association with Besant Women's College, Karnataka Sahitya Academy and Konkani Study Chair, Mangalore University. tnn

TOI Goa News

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