Story Archive

Speaking in Tongues

An ancient language called Ayapaneco has been spoken in Mexico for centuries, enduring the Spanish invasion, wars, famines, and floods. There are only two people left who can speak the language fluently: Manual Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69. The two men live just 500 meters apart in the village of Ayapa, in the state of Tabasco. But the two refuse to speak to each other. “They don’t have a lot in common,” says Daniel Suslak, a linguistic anthropologist from Indiana University. Segovia is “a little prickly” while Velazquez is “more stoic” and rarely leaves his home, he said. Suslak is trying to produce a dictionary of the language before it’s too late. (JW/London Guardian) ...Well, no doubt he’s got all the swear words documented by now.
Original Publication Date: 01 May 2011
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 17.

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