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Meet Marie, the Last Remaining Person on Earth Fluent in Wukchumni

The 82-year-old made her own dictionary in an effort to preserve her endangered language

Eighty-two year old Marie Wilcox is the last remaining person on earth fluent in Wukchumni. Tucked away in her San Joaquin Valley home, the determined elder spends her time recording the 3,000-year-old language of her ancestors in her very own dictionary and teaching classes to a handful of tribe members. In the short documentary Marie’s Dictionary filmmaker Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee follows Wilcox as she devotes herself to preserving her culture.

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How One Translation of 'Star Wars' Can Help Preserve a Native American Language

As part of a new initiative to dub 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' entirely into Navajo, fans will soon see C3PO speaking this age-old language.

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How Do You Save a Dying Language? Crowdsource It

LiveAndTell's model of crowdsourcing Native American tongues could save indigenous languages from extinction.

Websites have already tackled language education, but it's not that easy to learn Navajo or Lakota from places like Wikiversity or the Rosetta Project. A 32-year-old South Dakotan is looking to fill that gap. Biagio Arobba has launched LiveAndTell, a user-generated content site for documenting and learning rare languages. It can work for any language, but Arobba especially has his eye on preserving Native American tongues. The site and its accompanying Facebook page crowdsource endangered languages by speaking another that the next generation already knows: the language of the Internet.

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