enables people to communicate the most basic information. It also
allows them not only to elaborate and convey their opinion, but
also to maintain lasting relations with others.
While more than 400 languages throughout the world are in danger
of disappearing, one of them, Ayapa Zoque, is also about to become
Ayapa Zoque can be spoken fluently by only two native
speakers living in Ayapa, a small village in the state of Tabasco,
Mexico. With the number of speakers so low, there is another problem
accelerating the extinction of this language.
The last native speakers, two men named Isidro Velazquez and Manuel
Segovia, can’t be bothered to talk to each other even though their
houses are within about 500m distance. This is all because
their personalities are not compatible, so they cannot
get along with each other. To make matters worse, they don’t agree
about some details of their language!
12 years ago, when Segovia’s brother passed away, he has not been
able to converse in Ayapa Zoque with another person. Despite everything,
it is fortunate that Segovia’s son Manuel has been trying to learn
this language for the past five years. Manuel has a strong desire to master the language
until he becomes fluent enough to teach it to the next generation,
although he now stammers over a few words
when talking with his father.
There is no language in the world that is unimportant, but many
languages are still threatened with extinction. It is like losing
our priceless cultural properties every time a language
disappears. It is hoped that his effort to conserve their language comes