Navajo was once in danger of losing a lot of speakers, but the Navajo nation set up programs to teach the language as well as many bilingual schools. Now there are even institutes, community colleges, and technical universities with classes in the Navajo language.
Indians are relearning Sanskrit and reviving the ancient language, with 10,000 new speakers in 2010 alone.
The Ket people is an isolated population of 1200 in Siberia. Their language is strikingly similar in structure to the Native North American languages, and they are one of the last true hunter and gatherer societies on Earth.
Italian is attractive to the ear because it benefits from a very high number of words that end in vowels, and few words with many consonants in a row, creating an open sound that makes it perfect for singing.
Iceland is extremely protective of their language, instead of loaning words from other languages they repurpose old ones, telephone is ‘simi’, meaning thread, jet plane is ‘thota’, meaning to zoom and the word for computer, ‘tölva’ translates to number priestess or numbers witch.
Spoken by 200 people in central Siberia north of Mongolia, Ket language is considered to be in the same language family as Navajo. That would make Ket speakers the only remaining members in Eurasia of the original population that colonized the Americas.
Hebrew became extinct as a spoken native language around 200 CE. It was revived in Paris on 13 October 1881 when a man called Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his friends agreed to exclusively speak Hebrew in their conversations.
Between the 1930s and 1970s, employees at Merriam-Webster created a massive “backward index.” It was a card catalog, containing all the words in its dictionary typed backwards. It eventually included around 315,000 index cards. The reason for creating this thing was to allow the company to find words with similar endings. Such as all words ending in ‘ological’. It also helped them create a rhyming dictionary. Computers made the backward index obsolete, but it still sits in the basement of the company’s headquarters.
Some languages don’t have the relative directions right/left. They instead use cardinal directions, for example: “It’s on the southern edge of the table.”
Zoo keepers in England had to learn French in order to speak to baboons coming from a French zoo, because the animals didn’t respond to English commands.