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A New Language

Well not a new language but a newly discovered language. There are officially 6909 living languages in the world. According to linguists David Harrison and Gregory Anderson we can now add one more to that list. They have found a distinctly different language among the Aka people of Northeast India. It is called Koro.

“When we began talking to the Aka people, they said there’s another dialect of our language. If you go down to this other village, you’ll hear this other dialect. We went down to the village and sat down with the speaker, and after hearing just a few words of the language, which turned out to be Koro, we realized it wasn’t a dialect, it was completely different in every possible way.” (YouTube / FordCochran).

David Harrison explains Koro had not yet been discovered because the speakers are culturally identical to the other people in the region.

“The speakers of Koro had remained invisible to outside observers because their bright red garments, the rice beer they made and other details of their lives seemed no different from that of the speakers of Aka, the socially dominant language in the region.”


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CNN reports comparing Koro to the other languages of the region is like comparing English to Japanese. Koro shares more similarities with tongues spoken in farther eastern Asia. The linguists speculate the language could have been brought over by slaves.

“Aka is the traditional language of the region's historic slave traders, and they hypothesized that Koro may have sprung from the slaves; though they said more study is needed to determine the origin.”

The sad thing is that only 800 people speak Koro, very few of them under 20-years-old. The language is in danger of becoming extinct.

As we contemplate and appreciate the value of language as a communication tool and try to document the past, it is astounding how much of our history and culture has been lost to the march of time. As we look forward to the future with its many promises, it is important to remember where we came from and how important our past is to forging our future.




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