China’s Manchu Speakers Struggle to Save Language – David Lague

From International Herald Tribune:

Seated cross- legged in her farmhouse on the kang, a brick sleeping platform warmed by a fire below, Meng Shujing lifted her chin and sang a lullaby in Manchu, softly but clearly.

After 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, Meng has the confidence that comes from long experience. “If you sing like this, a baby gets sleepy right away,” she said.

Meng is one of 18 residents of this isolated village in northeastern China, all older than 80, who, according to Chinese linguists and historians, are the last native speakers of .[Full Text]

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