Bahasa Sulawesi Barat ‘Found’ in New York

Bahasa Sulawesi Barat 'Found' in New York , while engrossed in college assignments, a colleague knocked on the door. With enthusiasm, he asked, "Eri, you speak Mamuju language?" Immediately I answered no because never heard. Then I asked him back, "So what's with that language?" He then explained that he had just read an article in the New York Times that a native speaker of Mamuju language was 'discovered' in the city of Queens, New York. Interested to read directly for more complete information, I immediately skip to the scene (read: the newspaper site in question). When the law was open, on the right a small photograph of a middle-aged man dressed in a black skull was shown, one of the hallmarks of Indonesians. He was named Husni Husain. He is suspected of being the only Mamuju language speaker living in the New York area. He says that he can only use that language actively with his brother who lives in Indonesia. It was just over the phone. With his wife and son, he uses Indonesian because his wife is native to Java and his children were born in Jakarta. Mamuju language itself is the language used in the western part of Sulawesi Island. According to reports, the speakers live only 160 thousand people. Far compared to tens of millions of speakers of regional languages ??in Java such as Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, and so forth. Mamuju language is reportedly threatened with extinction in the widespread use of Malay dialect (Indonesian) among teenagers and young people. Unfortunately, the government seems to be blindfolded to this alarming fact. However, the government's impartiality towards the fate of regional languages ??(not just Mamuju language) has become common knowledge. Since when has our government shown a real excuse for preserving regional languages? The town of Queens, where Pak Husni lives now, is indeed the only district in New York whose citizens have a multitude of languages. Based on the 2000 census, there are at least 138 languages ??used by this Queens citizen. According to some linguists, in New York alone there are about 800 languages, making New York the city with the most language in the world, according to Daniel Kaufman, one of the professors at City University of New York. Borrowing his language, New York is like a hot spot for languages ??that are in danger of disappearing. Seeing the potential of many languages, some of which are endangered, Prof. Kaufman gave birth to a project entitled Endangered Language Alliance. Its mission is to identify and record data from languages ??that will be extinct, especially languages ??that do not have a writing system, by taking data directly from native speakers who live around New York. For Prof. Kaufman, his academic advances in order to document endangered languages ??often bring many surprises. After his failure to find Mamuju language speakers in Sulawesi in 2006, he was invited by Pak Husni to attend a wedding at his home in Queens. Unexpectedly, he managed to record Pak Husni using Mamuju language in the event. So, for the first time, he managed to get natural data wherein the Mamuju language is used in a real context. In addition to the Mamuju language, the institution which was initiated by Prof. Kaufman is also working on the documentation of Garifuna (language used in Honduras and Belize) and Zaghawa or also called Beri (the language used by a tribe in Darfur, Sudan). In fact, in the country, concerns about the threat of extinction of various regional languages ??have long echoed by a number of circles both academicians and local cultural activists. A number of initiatives to localize vocabulary have long been encouraged such as local language teaching in schools (as local content), media (such as newspapers, magazines and even television channels) in local languages ??and so on. Unfortunately, I have noticed that the efforts of the government (both local and central government) to support such programs are not yet clear. If anything, just half-heartedly. I do not know, maybe because of the excessive fear will tergesernya the central role of Indonesian in unifying the nation. But, I think, such concerns are unfounded. Finally, reading news like this where outsiders are so keen to try to preserve one of the regional languages ??in the archipelago, frankly I feel happy. Happy because there are still independent parties who have the resources to document our language. But, on the other hand, I feel sad because the conservation efforts did not come from the domestic side. Hopefully the future concern for the importance of pe

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