The Last Breather of a Dying Language

marie-wilcox-2.jpgLanguage is one of the cores of our identity as people, as a race, and as a society. The uniqueness and complexity of one language is precious to the native speakers of it. Not only does language serve as a means of communication but more importantly, it serves as a container of native memories and emotions for each word rings to the ears of the native; each word has a natural emotion that appeals to the speaker – something which any foreign language doesn’t have.

When a language goes extinct, all the memories of names, idioms, expressions, songs, poetry, and stories, get lost with it. A native speaker may learn a new language but the sense of a natural tongue will be gone.  And imagine, an entire system of letters, signs, and sounds, gone. It’s gonna be a great loss.

This video is worth sharing because of the great lesson this old woman teaches us. Her name is Marie Wilcox, ‘the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language spoken by a Native American tribe of less than 200 remaining members.’ And she has been creating a Wukchumni dictionary to salvage their language. Read her full story here.

©Video from NatGeo Facebook Page. Photo from


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