Talk Like A Nomad
April 23, 2010 7:27 PM   Subscribe

What is one of the most widely spoken languages in nomadic communities facing current conflict/oppression/ethnic violence?

I am about to embark on a long awaited excursion focusing my research on conflict systems and nomadic communities. I want to eventually focus on the Shelta (traveler) community in Ireland. But, because they are so closed about teaching their language to outsiders what is one of the most widely spoken nomadic languages.
posted by elationfoundation to Education (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Romani, maybe? (Though maybe not so much in Ireland.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:39 PM on April 23, 2010

Just curious, but why are you focusing on 'most widely spoken' as the determining factor here? It sounds like, based on what your research is, that you'd be better suited to finding a nomadic community whose culture or access might be structured such that you can easily travel and learn with them. This doesn't necessarily correlate with 'widely spoken'.

Unless there's some other reason for why you require a widely spoken language? (Also, by 'widely' do you mean geographically or number of speakers or some combination of both?)
posted by iamkimiam at 8:09 PM on April 23, 2010

iamkimiam: You are right on point. My concern is finding training in a language with a community that I can access before i go to do research with them. I hope to already have a good deal of structural research completed before I start the qualitative portion fo my research with a community. For this reason I want to to be able to access the language far before I head out to work with the community.
posted by elationfoundation at 11:29 PM on April 23, 2010

What about one of the Berber languages? They face a lot of oppression, and there is a lot of interest and conflict specifically about their language (one, two).
posted by Houstonian at 4:47 AM on April 24, 2010

There are plenty of good resources for Inuktitut and the other Inuit languages.

Of course, immersive research with Inuit nomads might kill you.
posted by 256 at 8:19 AM on April 24, 2010

I don't think there are any Inuit nomads any longer. They've all settled down into permanent villages. (At least in Canada and Alaska.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:53 AM on April 24, 2010

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