Only two people know dying language Ayapaneco – but they're not speaking

Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, live just 500 metres apart in the Mexican village of Ayapa, but have not spoken in years. It is unknown whether an argument is at the root of their issues, or if they simply don't have anything to say to one another.

Speaking to The Guardian, Daniel Suslak, a linguistic anthropologist from Indiana University, who is part of a team trying to produce an Ayapaneco dictionary, said 'they don't have a lot in common'.

In a telephone interview with the newspaper, Mr Segovia denied he feels any animosity towards Mr Velazquez and said he still uses Ayapaneco with his wife and son as they understand him, even though they can't speak more than a few words themselves.

The National Indigenous Language Institute is making a last-ditch attempt to protect the language by setting up lessons where the last two speakers can share their knowledge, however, similar attempts have failed in the past due to lack of interest.

A new Twitter tool was recently launched to help speakers of indigenous languages find one another on the microblogging site., which was created by Kevin Scannell, a professor of Computer Science at St Louis University, US, logs global tweets in 68 languages, including Kreyòl ayisyen and Gamilaaray.

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