The Albanian of Arbereshe on risk to disappear

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 29, 2019 11:26

The Albanian of Arbereshe on risk to disappear

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  • The Albanian language spoken by the Arberesh in Italy has been named as a language risked of extinction, as they speak in a Southern Albanian dialect which is not present in the country of origin any longer.

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TIRANA, March 24- The Albanian language of the Arbereshe in Italy is endangered to go extinct. It has been also added to the UN project for preserving 3000 rare languages, out of 7000 that there are in the world.

The “Endangered Languages Project” was launched by a group of UN education, linguistics and science experts in collaboration with many universities worldwide and the international search engine giant Google. The project aims to keep the past memory alive through the language, and also raise awareness in the public opinion on the issue of endangered for extinction languages.

“With every language that dies, a great cultural heritage is lost,” the experts of this project has noted. “The unique vision of the world is lost, and the witnessing of life’s centuries.”

Being made aware of the existence of a certain language might be the first step to extending a hand to save its life. The experts of this project have made available in their website the necessary information on any endangered language, and have invited their colleagues and individuals to actively provide a contribution through written and audiovisual information on any language which might be endangered. Google on the other hand will launch and supervise the development of this project in a long-term period.

The website of this initiative writes that “The Endangered Languages Project puts technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront the language endangerment by documenting, preserving and teaching them. Through this website, users can not only access the most up to date and comprehensive information on endangered languages as well as language resources being provided by partners, but also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio or video files. In addition, users will be able to share best practices and case studies through a knowledge sharing section and through joining relevant Google Groups.”
According to the “Endangered Languages Project” initiated by UN, the language from the Albanian ethnics minority Arbereshe is risked to extinction. The information provided so far by the linguistic experts of this project, claim that the Albanian that Arbereshe speak is a Southern Albanian dialect used only by these ethnics. It is estimated that there are around 100 to 200 thousand persons living in the whole territory of Italy, including the islands. Most of Arberesh in the south of Italy, in Calabria and Sicily.

The Albanian language spoken by the Arberesh who reside in Italy is recognized by the country’s government and protected under the law nr. 482 from 1999. Often times the regions of Arberesh have demanded more funds from the Italian government for the preservation of teaching the Albanian language in public schools. In a university level in some of the Italian universities exists in Albanian language departments such as in the universities of Napoli, Palermo, Cozenca, Bari, and La Sapienza in Rome. So far the Albanian Ministry of Culture and Education haven’t said anything regarding this cultural heritage. No Albanian government official have even mentioned such a delicate, concerning issue.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 29, 2019 11:26