Today in Linguistics: Dying Tongues, ‘Brooklynese’

New York: a land of many languages. Some–like Mamuju, or Vlashki–are dying. The Endangered Language Alliance is working hard to preserve them. Others–like “Brooklynese”–are not in fact real languages, but a London-based translation firm still wishes to teach befuddled Europeans all about them. Reports the Daily News:

Today Translations has posted an ad on craigslist seeking speakers of “‘Brooklyn English,’ with good knowledge of accent, slang, nuances” to help foreigners who “find it an unexpected challenge.”

The freelance gig pays up to $210 a day. It’s open to anyone who can decipher such Brooklynisms as “not for nothin,'” “cawfee” and “whatayagonna do?”

Indeed, the befuddled Europeans may discover surprising commonalities:

Brooklynese is not entirely unique, experts say.

The tendency among Brooklyn stalwarts to drop an “r” at the end of a word as in “deah,” for instance, is shared by the British.

All that is required here is a little cross-cultural understanding.

Today in Linguistics: Dying Tongues, ‘Brooklynese’