city scape drawing

Can endangered languages be saved? This new book may have the answer.


New York City is home to over 700 languages, but some will soon cease to exist. Is there still time to save them? The World’s Carolyn Beeler talks to linguist and author Ross Perlin about his new book, “Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York.”

man on sidewalk

Catalan separatists want university classes taught in the local language. Spanish academics resist the change. 

Screenshot from Bahjat official lyric YouTube video "Hometown Smile."

Libyan pop star Bahjat beat the odds. Now he wants to popularize ‘A-pop.’

Kavita Pillay wears a red coat and stands near a sign that says "To the ice" in Finnish.

‘It’s never too late’: How learning Finnish taught me to embrace vulnerability 

Linguist Thomas Wier and Udi activist Alexander Kavtaradze at a memorial to Zinobi Silikashvili, the founder of the village of Zinobiani, Georgia. The inscription includes both Caucasian Albanian (Udi) and Georgian script.

Udi, a dying language with its own alphabet, sees a revival in this small Georgian town

This Underwood typewriter features Yiddish letters of the aleph-beys, on display at the Museum of the City of New York.

A Yiddish revival is underway at this prestigious Chinese university


Yiddish once thrived among European Jews. Now, it’s considered an endangered language. But over the past few years, there’s been growing interest in the language, including in China, where students at one of the country’s most prestigious universities are now learning it.

Customers walk into the Dedaena Bar in Tbilisi past a QR code notice

Georgia’s proxy war with Russia has linguistic ripple effects


More than 10,000 Russians are fleeing to neighboring Georgia every day to escape being drafted into the war in Ukraine. The influx is exacerbating tensions going back to Soviet times.

Julie Sedivy and other family members visiting her father’s family gravesite in his village of Moravská Nová Ves.

‘Memory speaks’: How to reclaim your mother tongue without having to relearn it from scratch


When Julie Sedivy was four, her family fled their native Czechoslovakia and settled in Canada. Years later, a return trip to the Czech Republic made her realize she could quickly recover her mother tongue through memories. Sedivy recounts her linguistic journey in a new book called “Memory Speaks.”

Taiwan-born artist Wen-hao Tien (left) started inviting people from around the world to teach her songs from their homelands as part her exhibit on immigration experiences at an art center in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Learning through singing: This artist wants you to teach her a song in your native language


Is it easier to sing than speak in a foreign language? Taiwan-born artist Wen-hao Tien has put that question to the test as part of a new exhibit about the immigrant experience in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pardis Mahdavi (center) gathers with other family members based in the US.

The tiny but mighty hyphen: Does it unite or divide?


Some Americans, like Pardis Mahdavi, feel caught between two worlds. Her parents immigrated to the US from Iran, and she’s never really felt completely at home in either country. So now, she’s adopted a hyphenated identity.