Written by Dyami Millarson
Our blog has reached 3,000 followers officially on Tuesday 5 January 2021. Following the trajectory of our blog’s inevitable growth, we already expected that our blog would reach the 3,000 follower mark around the New Year, so we see this as a New Year’s gift coming from fellow human beings. Following our blog is a small act of kindness from fellow human beings, and since we believe small acts matter, we consider every follow a relevant human act that is a big gift to our blog. Small acts by humans can achieve big things as long as many humans commit those small acts of kindness. If everyone contributes in such a way only a small amount of their effort to the preservation of the diversity of human languages and cultures and life philosophies, then human heritage will prevail because humans care about it enough. Local languages and cultures are dying around the world from disinterest, disrespect and disapproval towards their very existence. I covered this in my recent article on what is a die-elect.
With this article celebrating the fact that more than 3,000 unique souls are now following our blog, I hope to remind all of you that your acts, no matter how small, make a huge difference in this world while your individuality matters and your voice, that you express through your acts, will be heard. We listen to your acts and we feel your support, so we are very motivated to keep producing more articles for you and keep you informed about our language studies that are performed by us for the sake of the very survival of languages such as Terschelling Frisian in the Netherlands, Schiermonnikoog Frisian in the Netherlands, Hindeloopen Frisian in the Netherlands, Sagelterland Frisian in Germany, Heligolandic Frisian in Germany and Elfdalian in Sweden.
We do not intend to only study for the sake of keeping what is still alive, but also to study for the sake of bringing back what has already been lost; we do this with parts of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar that have been lost in living languages such as Hindeloopen Frisian and Elfdalian, but also with entire languages that have disappeared from the face of the earth. We study lost words, sounds and grammatical features with the same zeal we study dead languages, we feel like we are treasure hunters on an adventurous quest to discover lost linguistic treasures.
We are studying dead languages to actively use them. We know how hard it is to bring lamguages back from the dead, so we prefer to prevent death. Bringing dead languages back to life is really a huge scientific puzzle like bringing cryopreserved patients back to life. Since we are strongly convinced that languages can be brought back in order to teach us about the past like it would be interesting to bring back a cryopreserved person to teach us about the past, we are absolutely dedicated to the study of dead languages in order to use them again. For instance, Gothic and Latin are not dead languages on our blog, because I studied these languages to use them actively. Bringing back a dead language as it was in the past requires zealous study of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar as well as an eye for detail, an analytical way of thinking and a healthy dose of self-criticism, I apply my knowledge of reviving dead language to studying endangered languages because the same methods that work for restoring dead languages to their former glory work for endangered languages as well. It is a scientific and psychological endeavour that requires utmost dedication and an unshakeable belief that failure is not an option. It takes truly everything from an individual to bring a language back from the dead; one has to give one’s all.
Dutch does not have a proper expression for the English concept of ‘language revitalisation’, but one may use beautiful native collocations such as een taal terugbrengen (bringing a language back), een taal nieuw leven inblazen (blowing new life into a language, I absolutely love this expression that is based around an animistic worldview) and een taal in ere herstellen (to restore a language in its honour). My choice of words in this article is definitely inspired upon these Dutch expressions, because they add so much philosophical depth to what we are actually doing on this blog. I appreciate local Dutch expressions, because what is local in the world’s Dutch-speaking regions is relevant for thinking about global problems and such local expressions do provide solutions that one might otherwise not arrive at. We should definitely take such local knowledge into account and that is why I have also been studying Dutch as diligently as I am studying any other language. In fact, I study both Dutch and English in the same way I study dead or endangered languages. I keep discovering new applications for local expressions that I might otherwise not have noticed and used and cared about as much as I do now.
It is highly satisfying that more than 3,000 souls support our zeal for studying languages, and we hope that our zeal will inspire our followers to achieve progress in their lives as well; supporting each other and finding inspiration in each other will make us grow faster as human beings. Our blog is a self-development blog that stimulates people to explore their own abilities, learn new skills and make positive changes. In addition, with the realisation that more than 3,000 human consciousnesses are following our study developments, it is curious to reflect upon the fact that there are way more people supporting our linguistic studies via the internet than there are, for instance, speakers of Sagelterland Frisian, even though that is one of the largest Frisian languages that we can speak and write. The people who support us online are showing such communities that human beings are ostensibly not indifferent to them and there are plenty of caring human beings alive today who only wish them well. This realisation is important for speakers of minority languages, because they need to know that they are not alone in this world, but an entire village of more than 3,000 human beings with real hearts, souls and minds genuinely care about them. This authenticity is priceless and we are vert happy that after many years of blogging since 2016, we have been able to reach such a large village of special human beings who inspire us every single day.