4 Endangered Language Songs to Listen to This Week
1. Eijõ by Tuļļi Lum
This slow and soothing folk song is sung in Livonian, a language spoken near the Black Sea in Latvia. Livonian is critically endangered and there may not be any fluent speakers left. Still, young Livonians have reconnected with their culture and many are now learning the language.
2. Immaqaali by Nunariik
Beware – listen to this song a few times, and it will get stuck in your head! It’s a cheerful tune in Inuktitut and English about the inuksuk, a traditional type of landmark. Immaqaali is also featured on the “Singuistics” app by Pinnguaq. If you have an iPad, you can download the app to learn the Inuktitut lyrics and sing along!
3. Nada Sō Sō
Natsukawa, a folk singer from Okinawa, sings the first half of this song in Japanese, then switches to Uchināguchi (Okinawan language) at 1:28. Can you tell the languages apart? Whether in Japanese or Uchināguchi, this is a heartfelt song and Natsukawa performs it beautifully.
4. Pate Pate by Te Vaka https://www.tevaka.com/listen/s/pate_pate Pacific group Te Vaka just recorded songs for Disney’s Moana, but they’ve been performing for decades. This upbeat song is written in the Tokelau language, spoken by about 1,500 people in the South Pacific. It’s sure to get you dancing!