A Language Village


Sami People of Northern Norway Look to Israel to Save their Language

As languages evolve, several are also on the brink of extinction. There are certain languages and dialects that only have a handful of native speakers left. Take the case of the Sami, an ethnic group that make their homes well north of the Arctic Circle, including Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The Sami cling to their unique culture, but find it quite difficult to pass on their unique language and dialects. In the most unlikely of places, the Sami from Northern Norway have found hope and inspiration to keep their language alive:  Israel.

Check out this article.

Israel has a unique style of language learning called Ulpan, meaning “instruction” in Hebrew. When people decide to move to Israel, they are required to enroll in these programs, which combine intensive immersion with several hours of class time weekly. The results are greatly successful, as students usually pick up Hebrew skills rather quickly, including conversational confidence.  Based on this reputation as a language program that works, the Sami hope to bring lessons from the Ulpan back home. Immersion works if used in the right environment, and the Sami hope it can be used to revive their language for generations to come.


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