where will meanings be
when the words are forgotten
-WS Merwin

There are over 6000 languages in the whole world. We lose one every two weeks. Hundreds will be lost within the next generation. By the end of this century, half of the world’s languages will have vanished.

What do we lose when a language dies? What does it take to save a language?




Goulburn Island, a remote island off the coast of Australia, where 400 Aboriginal people speak ten different languages, all at risk.


Wales, where Language Matters explores the humor, rage, and lyricism of the Welsh people, who have brought their language back from the edge of extinction.


Hawaii, where Hawaiian almost disappeared in the middle of the 20th century. Today, a small, dedicated group of language activists is trying to bring it back to life.

Berkeley Video and Film Festival: Grand Festival Award for Documentary


Garifuna International Film Festival

Director/Producer/Writer: David Grubin; Executive Producers: David Grubin and Bob Holman; Executive Producer for PIC: Leanne K. Ferrer; Conceived by: Bob Holman; Editor: Deborah Peretz; Cinematography: James Callanan and Bob Richman; Director of Motion Graphics: Brian Oakes; Associate Producer: Oliver Grubin.