by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/09/11 21:53 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/09/11/4873992.aspx
Almost (though not quite) hearkening back to 'The 44' (*not* 'The 4400'), The 4400 is still an interesting television show, one that this post has nothing to do with, either.
The other day I was researching something about Micronesia and Micronesian languages, and I happen to run across the Ethnologue article about Tanapag, a language spoken on the Isle of Saipan (ISO 639 code of tpv).
It just so happens that as of 2004 it has about 4400 speakers.
Given that (according to the article) the younger folk tend to speak Chamorro (ISO 639 code of cha) rather than Tanapag, and also given that (again according to the article) speakers of Tanapag tend to have low proficiency in both English and Chamorro, it seems that Saipan has perhaps the highest form of generation gap.
This is ever so much more impressive than the banal form we have here in the US, ignoring the odd cellular commercial that exhibits the younger crowd speaking and texting a language that the adults cannot understand..... um..... ok, never mind. I guess we do it too.
We just haven't been able to get the folks at SIL to provide either an ISO-639 code for this new texting language, or receive translation of the bible into it.
I have always enjoyed the name Micronesia, and for years I was sure it had to be some artificial place, like maybe the home country of Microsoft where they invented the Microwave and the Microscope? :-)
By the way, if anyone wanted to create a custom culture or two if they had the data and wanted to help these people out, the names would be tpv-MP and cha-MP for the kids.
The petition for the version of the bible with verses suitable for texting can be started another day....
This post brought to you by 䐀 (U+4400, a CJK Ideograph in Extension A that reportedly means 'to dismember body of the livestock, which is kind of ironic since that is the kind of thing that aliens often get accused of in their experiments, which is in small part what The 4400 is based on!)
Marc Durdin on 12 Sep 2007 3:05 AM:
>We just haven't been able to get the folks at SIL to provide either an ISO-639 code for this new texting language, or receive translation of the bible into it.
>The petition for the version of the bible with verses suitable for texting can be started another day....
josh on 12 Sep 2007 3:54 AM:
I used to have to write code to run on the LG VX4400 cell phone (3rd party). I don't know how it rated as a phone, but as a programming target it was not pleasant. (Bi-tangential is nearly almost as good as topical!)
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