Researchers are rushing to capture an endangered version of the Greek language

About the episode

Romeyka is a thousands-year-old version of Greek. This language is spoken by only a small number of people, mostly elderly people, in northeastern Turkey and has no written form, meaning the language is now in danger of becoming extinct forever.

Scientists really want to prevent that. Language is seen as a treasure trove full of knowledge about the past.

They want to use speech for this purpose Crowdsourcinga new mathematical application through which anyone can pick up audio fragments of rare languages.

This should not only make it possible to preserve these languages, but also hopefully ultimately provide a natural learning environment. A course based on everyday use of the language, in audio form, rather than relying on a standardized book.

To draw attention to this new app, the creator, a Harvard researcher, is also sharing the latest discoveries about Romeyka in an exhibition. His most important discovery is that the language is not the daughter of modern Greek, but rather its sister. The second line, which has a different origin.

The researcher, himself an Aramaic speaker, collected approximately 29 gigabytes of audio and video data. All in good consultation with local population groups. Hopefully, thanks to this new app, many more audio files will be added soon.

You can read more about his work and the latest discoveries about the history of the Greek language here: Last chance to record ancient Greek language 'heading towards extinction'

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Megan Vasquez

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