Sorosoro: the association that seeks to save rare languages

This article is a little thumbs-up to Sorosoro, an association with the slogan “So the languages of the world may live on”.

Why fight for dead languages?

Sorosoro’s director, Rozenn Milin, stated in an interview that each language corresponds to a culture, and no matter how small, if it’s snuffed out, the world becomes a little more uniform, a little less diverse.

1 – The fight for diversity

Sorosoro is of the opinion that a language is more than just a means of communication. If we lose a language, we also lose all of the knowledge of the people who spoke it.

It’s almost certain that in Africa or the Amazon, certain cultures use various medicinal plants that we don’t even know about. If these people and these languages disappear, then the entirety of their knowledge will disappear with them.

Diversity is what makes our world so rich! And our languages, however rare they may be, are a reflection of an extremely rich history. We believe we should do our best to make sure we aren’t living in a world devoid of diversity, so join us in supporting this association’s cause!

2 – The education of local populations

The ability to communicate is important for developing countries, and a number of these countries still have a significant amount of work to do when it comes to literacy. However, if they are conducted in a national language, children who speak another language at home are going to have a harder time learning and have worse overall results.

Sorosoro believes that it is in using these rare languages that a country will successfully develop.

Humans, thankfully, are capable of learning multiple languages, so why not invest in learning how to communicate better with other cultures? What’s more, when we show an interest in learning these languages, we promote a feeling of pride within a population, which is an important element for cultural adaptation. We can clearly see the problems that plague populations who have lost touch with their cultural heritage: drug and alcohol abuse, violence, suicide, etc.

Did you know… when talking about a language spoken only by a small, local population, we refer to it as an indigenous or autochthonous language.

Sorosoro fights for autochthonous (indigenous or minority) languages!

Concretely, what actions does Sorosoro take?

The association has set up a documentation programme for languages at risk of disappearing.

It should be noted, out of the 7,000 languages and dialects currently spoken across our planet, 3000 are at risk of disappearing without leaving behind even a trace of the language in writing. And without a written trace, there will be no way to pass on these languages to future generations.

Sorosoro has been working on creating in-the-field scientific documentation using videos. With the help of these videos, an encyclopaedia will be developed and enriched by a scientific community over time.

In Gabon, Guatemala, Senegal, or New Caledonia, you can find a plethora of information on the Sorosoro site regarding their in-the-field work.

The association also works on increasing awareness in the general population; the hold public conferences and debates on the subject.

The association is supported by a scientific community that lends credibility to their cause.

If you’d like to know more, visit their site!