Three elderly sisters survive who speak the N|uu language. In the heat of Upington, one of them, lacking the resources to do so elsewhere, is teaching local children to speak it outside her house. With the help of a local academic team, they’ve even developed an orthography to ensure the history and heritage doesn’t vanish.
The director of the Centre for African Language Diversity (CALDi) at University of Cape Town (UCT) drives a Rapid Response car. It doesn’t have an actual siren, but it’s marked much like an emergency vehicle: yellow stripes, the works. One might wonder whether it’s illegal to do this, but it’s not – it’s merely an elegant parody on wheels an attractive design, actually, with the background subtly marked with maps of the country’s endangered language profile.
This week, the rapid response vehicle is out in Upington. It’s visiting the site of some long-term work, the N?ng Language Project, working with some partners of ?Khomani San heritage.
There are just five surviving speakers of N?ng left in the world.
?’Au, the Eastern variety of N?ng, is spoken by Hannie Koerant and Fytjie Sanna Rooi in Olifantshoek.
The Western variety of N?ng,…
Source : Daily Maverick