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Big Buck Bunny used for Language Revitalization


Here's an interesting way to keep an endangered language alive: Big Buck Bunny was translated into Salish.

Sam Sandoval writes:

My son attends a language revitalization school in Montana, USA. Our tribal language is under threat of extinction so a few tribal educators created the Nkwusm Salish Language Immersion Institute school where our tribal children can learn the language in a total immersive environment.

They came across Big Buck Bunny and decided to use the movie and create a Salish narrative to tell the story. Voice by our elder Pat Pierre, Big Buck Bunny is now being used to teach our children our language.

Here is the video:

The school hopes to get more original content on the web and in their classrooms.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. What a wonderful initiative!

    I admit that I don't understand a word of the Salish language, but the storyteller's narrative seems to fit right into the flow of the visuals.

  2. I like the sound of this language through the narrator's voice.

    BBB's too light-hearted compared to the narrator's tone: it makes me think of an old indian warrior, telling a story about their ancestors, and their terrible battles.

    Surely this kind of narration would be much more appropriate for Sintel, which is darker.
    I hope they'll do it...

    There's something really important missing here:
    English captions, so we can start learning as well ;)

  3. @Ammusionist, Piiichan:
    My first thought was just that there's no dialog in BBB. Someone had to write a narrative for this, and then read it in Salish. Sintel or ED would have made more sense to me, just because there's already something in them to translate.

    @Sam Sandoval:
    This is a great idea. Keep your heritage alive.

  4. @Gryphon
    You have to consider who their target audience. It's probably younger children whom they may not want to introduce to darker concept stories like Sintel or who might not understand the nuances of ED's storyline. BBB is lighthearted and identifiable enough to be understand and valued by children. I have to agree though that I would like to hear both of those in Salish.

  5. I prefer the "darker" violence of Sintel to the "light-hearted" violence of BBB. Really. In Sintel, the violence produces more or less real life results. If you get hit real hard by a sharp object, you get hurt, badly. Or you die. That's an important lesson to teach young children. Actions have definite consequence. In BBB, actions have less predictable results. The butterfly is killed, but the other creatures just brush off their supposed bruises.

  6. Maybe the UN could get some laws in place to free copyrighted material for endangered languages.
    Although, there's no bigger cultural spoiler as weird morals in foreign movies. :-)

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