after more or less successfully reclaiming two saami languages and considering taking up a third one i have little time & patience left for any non-speakers’ feelings of being excluded from the community.
and i mean it’s fine if you choose not to take the time to reclaim your language! it’s your life, your choice, your responsibility. not mine or anybody elses. also it comes down to chance and circumstance a lot more than one would think and i dont blame anyone who never got a chance to learn for not learning. thats the way it goes.
the important part is where you take responsibility for how you deal with the chances you do get and whatever your life shapes up to be because of your choices (and yes i know there are other factors than personal choice that affect ones life. very profoundly).
but do not for a second think that saami-speakers owe you shit for your not being a speaker. we do not owe u translations. we do not owe you code-switching. if your friends and relatives do that for you, be grateful, and consider the fact that you are in effect putting extra strain on maintaining saami-language spaces. that is, also, the way it goes, regardless of your genuine desire to participate and feel connected.
if you get to choose not to learn your language, be prepared to live with that choice, and know that despite everything else you might know and all the other forms of cultural knowledge you possess, you are missing out on an incredible wealth of knowledge pertaining to your very culture.
i couldn’t, so i chose otherwise. so did plenty of other people. and quite a few of us did so because we have a sense of responsibility for the community.
and it has also come down to the point where i no longer take pr much anybody seriously unless they take some kind of responsibility in their community. especially if they happen to share mine. be it language, livelihood, art, or whatever: if you have it, share it. see to it that it doesn’t get lost.
and also accept the fact that the less you have to share, the less you are actually able to participate and connect. i have.
see, at the end of the day (re)connecting and participating are NOT ABOUT YOU. they are about COMMUNITY. and unless you put community first, i am not going to take you seriously.