Two Men Who Will Not Speak to Each Other are the Only on Earth Who Speak a Dying Language

As strange as it may seem, languages are still being lost to history in the present. Such is the case with Ayapaneco, an indigenous language from the Tabasco region in Mexico that the only two remaining speakers call Nuumle Oote or "True Voice." With two people left speaking it, you would think the language could be rescued, but that is dependent on the efforts of linguists attempting to salvage the dialect. Why? Because the two men left who speak it do not talk to each other.

Manuel Segoria, who is 75 and Isidro Velazquez, who is 69, have not said why they do not speak to each other and express no open animosity. However, people who know the two Ayapa village residents say they never liked each other. Now, linguists are trying to piece together the nearly dead language both speak and even their usage of the language does not match up. Since they cannot bring the two men together to figure out the discrepancies, the team putting together a dictionary of the language has to use its best judgment.

Unfortunately, while at least one of the men was interested in having Ayapaneco classes, that has proven impossible thanks to budget problems and lack of interest locally. The hope is that the language will be taught before there is no one left who understands fully how to speak it.