28 Jan Facts About Khoisan Language
If humans weren’t born with the burning desire to know all the truths about the universe, our world would have been very bleak. Even today, people will be more interested in learning about something mysterious then reading about a well-known fact. It is our nature to be drawn to things we have no explanation for, or know about only a little. That’s why the Bermuda Triangle became a mystery for us even though there is nothing mysterious about the location. This is why people listen to conspiracy theorists, even if they don’t believe them, they would like to believe in the impossible.
The Khoisan Languages:
We have been around for 200,000 years but even now there are things we don’t know about ourselves. There are various reasons behind that. We didn’t always have paper to write information on. We also had poor ways of communication, which led to a lot of information being lost. Even after we developed languages, we had trouble understanding each other. There were no translation experts when humans were just beginning to form proper languages. As a result, there is a lot we don’t know about our past. We cannot fully trace the lineage of a language because we have no record of its mother tongue.
The Khoisan languages are a group of unrelated African tongues. Khoekhoe is the member with the greatest number of speakers and is the national language of Namibia. Linguists have always been curious about these tongues since there is no data available for most of them.
Facts About Khoisan Languages:
This unique group of tongues put together by Joseph Greenberg keeps on getting interesting the more you learn about it. For a long time, linguists believed that the classification made by Greenberg was accurate and the only way to divide these tongues. But when the social structure of the speakers of Khoisan languages was considered and racial concerns were ignored, the truth became clear that they share no connection. Here are a few interesting facts about these tongues:
- All the members of the group share click consonants which made linguists think that they are related. But latest studies have revealed that all the members of the group are parts of different families.
- People now refer to them as click languages at times, while many still continue to use Khoisan as a family name.
- Although all the members were spoken in Africa at one point, none of the members actually belong to any African family.
- Majority of the Khoisan languages are extinct today, while many still are extinct.
- There is no written record available for most members of the group which has made some people question their existence.
- It is believed that these tongues spread in different parts of Africa before the Bantu expansion. But once the Bantu languages became common, the importance of Khoisan tongues reduced and eventually they faded into nothingness.
- Along with click consonants, Khoisan tongues are also known for having the greatest number of consonants in the world.
- These tongues have gone out of use or are on the verge of extinction because most of their bilingual speakers end up favoring the language of the majority. By doing this, they do not forward their knowledge about their native tongue to their children and therefore, stop the progress of a vernacular.
- A lot of our data about the past is based on assumptions. Which is why many people question whether the extinct Khoisan tongues even existed or not. Many studies have been conducted on this to confirm the validity of the old tongues. But the debate hasn’t stopped even after all these years. Since these tongues stopped being dominant since the 18th century, it is difficult to find proof of their existence.
The Translation of Khoisan Languages:
This complicated and mismatched group is always a difficult topic for linguists but if you need the translation of one of the Khoisan tongue, that’s when you will be in real trouble. With their rapidly decreasing number of speakers, it is difficult to find experts who can not only understand the tongues but also understand them. However, understanding that all members are not related and in fact, belong to different families can help you a bit.
When you know which tongue’s translation you require, you can focus on finding someone who is an expert in that, instead of trying to find someone who can handle all the Khoisan languages. Most language services company do not offer help for Khoisan tongues. But there are still a few good names in the world who are brave enough to handle these unique vernaculars. If you are in need of assistance, you can get in touch with one such agency and they will connect you with a reliable translator.
Some questions about the earth and our past will always remain unanswered. Because of our curious nature, it is very difficult for us to accept the way things are and stop questioning everything. But it is the only way to remain sane when it comes to the questions that have been asked for centuries and there are still no answers. When it comes to languages and cultures, accepting them as they are and appreciating them for their variety is the best thing we can do as humans. They are going to go through many changes, just as we do on daily basis, but we have the present and that’s all that matters in the end.