Speaking in Tongues
There are approximately 6,500 living languages; more than half of them are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. Here, three that you can brush up on while traveling—no Ph.D. in linguistics required.
Gullah Experience a native tongue of the rural South with Gullah Tours (843/763-7551; gullahtours.com; two-hour tours $18), which deploys the 300-year-old language on excursions in Charleston, S.C. (the Underground Railroad, the Old Slave Mart).
Gaelic An Darach Ltd. (44-131/664-2606; andarach.com; $50 per hour) incorporates the historic language of Scotland into personalized half-day to three-day trips throughout the Scottish Highlands and islands.
Inuktitut To revitalize a dialect of Labrador and Newfoundland, Rosetta Stone’s Endangered Language Program (800/788-0822; rosettastone.com; $100 per CD or one year of online instruction) created an interactive CD-ROM to teach speaking, reading, and writing skills with photos.
Take a listen before it's too late.
Though fewer people speak these languages today, they still thrive in smaller communities. Here, some clips of dialects that are slowly disappearing—Inuktitut, Gaelic, and Gullah.