Official Languages

Last edited 10 April 2022

An official language of Foundation Operation X is a language that has been adopted by Foundation Operation X, which is an official organisation, after a public or private language challenge of the Operation X team. Being official in this context thus means ‘being endorsed by the official organisation called Foundation Operation X after a language challenge.’ A language becomes an adopted and therefore official language when the Operation X team uses it for internal communication or for posting articles on the multilingual blog of Operation X after a language challenge. A language cannot become an official language of Operation X unless (a) it has been successfully acquired through a language challenge and (b) it is actually used by the organisation. Relationship with (a) is vital to understand, as the language challenge is the process by which the official adoption of the language is ritually initiated. A language challenge, in the context of Operation X work, is the study of a language with the goal of attaining native-level fluency within a short period of time. The official adoption is often ceremonially completed by a ritual first meeting with the last speakers, which may be regarded as a final exam or rite of passage. The official adoption is thus a process of mutual acceptance between Operation X and the language community. Operation X regards itself as part of the language community after a successful language challenge. Official adoption of languages by Operation X is binding: Once a language becomes adopted, it can never become unadopted again.

12 comments

  1. I love this project! Have you looked at how well we’ve done in my country at reinvigorating the Welsh language? But what about the Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic speakers? I guess they all got massacred, or they’d still be speaking their languages… In theory, they should be doing far better than us in Wales, but that’s just not the case!

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  2. I am passionate about saving and preserving minority languages, I have learned Nones (Val di Non, Italy), South Tirolean, Lakota and Siksika (Blackfoot) in my efforts.

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  3. I would like to see a map showing the Frisian language areas and their subdivisions. Thanks

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  4. What a wonderful project, I agree entirely with your aims; I’m currently studying Scots-Gaelic and Irish (though nowhere near fluent, nor do I have access to any fluent native speakers); it is important to preserve these minority languages and they can be quite beautiful too.

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  5. Love this! One of the most unique blogs I have seen so far. This blog also stands out for the effort involved in what you are pursuing. Learning rare languages is not an impulsive decision, but a dedicated goal requiring years of effort.

    This reminds me of a neighbor I had in Montana – a Crow woman who was passionate about preserving and teaching her people’s native language. Their language is a precious facet of their culture, and its endangerment means a potential loss of a piece of their identity.

    Endangered languages are about more than words – endangered languages are the fruit of unique cultures, and there is great tragedy when a language goes extinct. It means a culture and a way of life – a beautiful form of human expression – has vanished. Our world is less rich each time this happens.

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  6. This is so fascinating. It’s amazing how many languages are out there that aren’t common knowledge. I remember being in Southern France and thinking, “WTH? What is Oc?” I love to see that you’re preserving what would otherwise be lost. Thank you for teaching us!

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  7. It appears as if the people of Lisu Hill Tribe of Thailand are losing their mother tongue. Maybe they could use your support?

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  8. Hi when I found your site there was an article in a language that I can’t identify:
    Késsa sáirë dë mizz’ ës’têtë a l’ Amérëkë, ka pénz’ a Mmáulë ka sstê ddëstándë, më twórnë ‘n méndë u fáttë k’ a Mmáulë i krëstyênë fëstëjjéshënë a Féstë du Pwólpë è stáuk’ á ppénzë kë sarébbë nu òttëm’ àrgëméndë du kwêlë pòttsë sskrévë tu Mëláisë pë ddôkumëndéggyë méggyë na lëttëra’tëurë du Mëláisë.
    Can you tell me what language it is? I put it into Google Translate and drew a blank…
    I’m wondering why the letter E can take 2 dots, a cirumflex or an acute accent. Are these tone marks or … what are they? I

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    • The language is Molese/Molesian. You can find out more about it in the following recent article:

      My Fieldwork in Southern Italy

      The e with an umlaut (ë) stands for a schwa /ə/, the e with a circumflex (ê) stands for a close central unrounded vowel /ɨ/ and the e with an acute accent (é) for a close-mid front unrounded vowel /e/.

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