The last two people fluent in a nearly-extinct language refuse to speak to each other.
The men, Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, live close to one another in a village located in south Mexico, but they don’t “really enjoy each other’s company,” according to an article in the London Telegraph.
They speak Ayapaneco, a language used for centuries by the indigenous people of Mexico.
Segovia still uses Ayapaneco to speak to his wife and son, who understand him but can only speak a few words. Velazquez no longer uses the language daily.
”When I was a boy, everybody spoke it,” Segovia said. ”It’s disappeared little by little, and now I suppose it might die with me.”
The article says there are 68 different indigenous languages in Mexico, further subdivided into 364 variations. A handful of other Mexican indigenous languages is also in danger of extinction, though Ayapaneco is the most extreme case.
Segovia and Velazquez call their language Nuumte Oote, which means the True Voice. They speak different versions of this truth and tend to disagree over details, which doesn’t help their relationship, the article says. A dictionary, which is due out later this year, will contain both versions.