First, as scientists.
As scientists, we should:
Some such initiatives are already operative, and
accessible through the Net. For example:
I would like to stress once more the urgency of these tasks. Languages are
dying faster than field-linguists graduate from universities.
We must find a way to speed up the training of, say, 'linguistic technicians' to perform at least the required preliminary work of documentation.
I think the native speakers of the endangered languages
are the best candidates for this. Universities in the vicinity
of such languages should be the site of such programs - and they
should be helped by other universities and by UNESCO.
In addition, we should:
At the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities,
we are doing a lot of research and teaching in many languages
-- including "exotic" and "extinct" languages.
This is not enough, to be sure, and more must be done, but here
is -- briefly -- a list of what we do.
Naturally, we have a strong interest in Hebrew and its close
relatives, the Semitic family of languages.
Department of Hebrew and Semitic
Arabic and other Middle-Eastern and African languages also deserve
Department of History of the Middle East and Africa
Department of Arabic Language and Literature
Other ancient and classical languages are investigated and studied
as well .
Department of Archaeology and Cultures of Ancient East
Modern languages studied and used at our Faculty
include major Western European languages,
Department of Classics
Department of English Literature
Institute of German History
Department of French Language and Literature
Department of Linguistics
Eastern European and Asiatic languages,
The Cummings Center for Russian and East European Studies
and modern (as well as classical) East Asian languages.
Department of East Asian Studies
And we reserve a special place, in the heart as well
as in the classrooms to the preservation of the Jewish languages
other than Hebrew.
Department of General Studies
We have a special Division in charge of foreign language
teaching, with a rapidly expanding number of language courses.
Division of Foreign Languages
In addition, our School of Education participates
in the planning of language policy in Israel (an international
conference on language policy was convened recently by our researchers
together with those of Bar-Ilan University), as well as in research
on language acquisition, together with the department of linguistics,
which also -- of course -- investigates general linguistics.
Furthermore, individual researchers deal with a variety
of "exotic" languages.
Individual researchers also perform research on languages such as
In fact, practically all of our departments and research
institutes deal in one way or another with languages.
Other departments requiring specific language abilities
I may have omitted some languages, but the total
number I have in this quick survey is no less than .....
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