What is an EL?
Two Languages Already Gone:
Ku|khaasi and !ora
This page contains links to recordings of two African languages that existed in the 1930's but are no longer spoken. We are fortunate that they were recorded or we might not even know they existed. They are part of a collection of recordings of extinct languages on a CD produced by Prof. Anthony Traill, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
This project was featured on NPR's "Lost & Found Sound". Click here to hear the broadcast in RealAudio containing an interview with yourDictionary's Dr. Bonnie Sands.
Ku|khaasi was a South African Khoisan language containing clicks, represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet as [!] or [|] (there are different kinds of clicks). It was spoken in South Africa as late as 1936. Ku|khaasi is no longer spoken or sung to infants. This is a recording made in Johannesburg that year. It contains the first part of a Ku|khaasi lullaby, as sung and spoken by a woman named Kabara (about 1 megabyte). You can hear the gurgles of her baby, Matabab, in the background.
The second clip is the opening of a now very poignant speech in !ora, or Koranna, is another now extinct South African Khoisan language with clicks. This clip contains a message from Mukalap to the delegates at the Third International Congress of Phonetic Sciences om Ghent, Belgium (also about a megabyte long). It was recorded in 1938.