SOAS University of London

Mandana Seyfeddinipur to speak at Digital Modern Languages seminar series

25 June 2019

Dr Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Director of SWLI and Head of the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) at SOAS, will speak at the Digital Modern Humanities seminar series at King's College London on Tuesday 25 June 2019, 6-8pm.

Mandana's talk is titled "Two Sides of the Same Coin: Why the Digital is Blessing and Curse for Endangered Languages" and will explore digital technology and endangered languages.

Globalisation, urbanisation and climate change are affecting people’s lives all over the world drastically. Languages are falling silent at an alarming rate because people migrate to cities and give up their languages for more prestigious major language promising social and economic mobility. Linguists estimate that half of the world’s 7000 languages spoken today will be gone by the end of this century. And with these languages humanity’s knowledge about our own history, the local knowledges about flora and fauna and medicine, about social systems and cosmologies.

At the same time the advent of digital technology has allowed linguists all over the world to record these disappearing languages and to preserve them in digital archives around the world. Revitalisation and maintenance interventions try to utilise digital tools, games and phone apps but also their effects are limited. A digital multilingual and linguistically diverse world is the desire but the reality of it is complicated.

Please register via the Institute of Modern Languages Research

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