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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Recovering Voices - Sustaining Global Linguistic Diversity

In this video, linguist Dr. Gabriela Pérez Báez discusses language diversity, endangerment, and revitalization.


Meet Dr. Gabriela Pérez Báez, the former Curator of Linguistics at the National Museum of Natural History. Learn about the world's incredible diversity of languages and the wealth of knowledge and information they hold. See how we all acquire language based on which sounds and sentences we get exposed to when we're young. Find out what the dialect you speak reveals about your history and culture. Take a journey with Gabriela to Mexico, where she is working with a Zapotec community to document and revitalize a threatened language. Learn what the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative is doing to sustain the world’s languages. During the program she answers questions in Spanish and English. This show aired on May 25, 2017.



National Middle School Standards



  • Human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture.

Individual Development and Identity

  • Personal identity is shaped by an individual's culture, by groups, by institutional influences, and by lived experiences shared with people inside and outside the individual's own culture throughout her or his development.

Global Connections

  • Global connections have intensified and accelerated the changes faced at the local, national and international levels

People, Places, and Environments

  • The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world
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