Mexican Residents Reunite to Save 1,000-Year-Old Language From Going Extinct [Video]
Imagine cutting ties with a friend and then being forced to talk to them or else a language goes extinct.
That's exactly what happened to Manuel Segovia, 78, and Isidro Velazquez, 72. The two residents of Tabasco, Mexico, stopped talking, coincidentally, about the thing that would eventually bring them back together. Though it's not clear what the argument was about, the two stopped being friends after a disagreement about Ayapaneco, a pre-Columbian Mexican language that's also known as Tabasco Zoque, Mashable noted. The two are the last known speakers of the language.
Many tried to get Segovia and Velazquez to speak in the language, but they refused. Eventually, Vodafone, the European cellphone operator, got them to participate in its marketing campaign, Vodafone Firsts.
Segovia and Velazquez now teach the language in a one-room school room that is named after the two. James Fox, a Stanford linguistics professor, is putting together a dictionary for the language.
The language also now has its own website, Ayapaneco.com, where visitors can adopt words and learn words that are useful for social media, such as "like" and "share."
Vodafone also put together a video that chronicles the relationship between Segovia and Velazaquez.
Segovia's son said, "We have tried everything to bring them back together so they can work as a team again."
Vodafone and the two men's village worked together to get them speaking again.
The video shows the first school for Ayapaneco being built, and Fox, who was flown into Tabasco, was there to remind the men that they had a responsibility to help save a heritage. The two had a touching reunion, where tears were shed. The school was unveiled with their faces and names painted on the side.
The video ends with the two sitting at the front of the classroom teaching children.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!