Friday, January 11, 2013

whistling language

On the island of La Gomera, one of the smallest of the Canary Islands, a whistling language that expanded with the influx of Spaniards, is enjoying a revival. Silbo Gomero is even compulsory in schools.
[T]he most likely theory is that the whistle came with the settlers from Africa, where there are records of other whistled languages....
By the 1970s and 80s, there were only a few whistlers remaining, but at the end of the 90s there was renewed interest in silbo, in part due to an initiative to make it a compulsory subject at primary school.
The language is reviled by many islanders because it seems to relate to a 'peasant' past they would rather forget. But it brings in the tourists ... and obviously got my attention.

I love finding out things I knew absolutely nothing about.

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