The Linguists (2008)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In a time when over 7,000 distinct languages are spoken around the world, professors David Harrison and Gregory Anderson navigate treacherous terrain and travel to the furthest reaches of the globe to research forgotten and hidden languages. As colonialism and economic unrest spread, the new generations begin to abandon their ancestral languages, and their cultures are passively suppressed. But their legacy is not lost thanks to Harrison and Anderson, and now amateur linguistics can follow along … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Daniel A. Miller
In Theaters:
Ironbound Films


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Critic Reviews for The Linguists

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

The film certainly makes a compelling case for this particular kind of academic derring-do.

January 18, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A fleet-footed study of human communication and its limitless structural and functional possibilities.

Full Review… | January 18, 2008
Top Critic

Makes the case that the death of "lesser" languages is as much of an assault on civilization as the leveling of a rain forest.

Full Review… | February 11, 2010

Audience Reviews for The Linguists


The documentary shows two linguists trying to keep record of four dying languages in different countries. They participate in the villages' little rituals and so on, makes it feel more authentic as a anthropological linguistics cinematic work. I like the duo's spirit of curiosity... It reminds us of the need to preserve dying languages and cultures.


Okay documentary, but I'm not sure I necessarily agree with the premise. Just losing languages isn't a bad thing. Language is used for communication, which is why languages die. They don't serve a function if only one person speaks them. However, I appreciate what these guys try to do. I could just use a little less holier-than-thou attitude from them. (At one point in the film, one of the linguists derides anyone who would spend their life studying French because over a million people speak it. A little elitist, no?)

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