The critically endangered Tsesungun variety of the Huilliche [huh] language has only a handful of speakers remaining in the region of San Juan de la Costa in Osorno Province, southern Chile, found in such villages as Choroy Traiguen. Tsesungun belongs to the tiny Araucanian language family, and while closely related to the better known Mapudungun language, the two speech varieties are not mutually intelligible.
Living Tongues made a visit to the Tsesungun community in January 2011 to assess its current state, use, and vitality, and to see how we might be able to support indigneous language revitalization efforts. Tsesungun language activist and teacher Don Anselmo Ancapichun-Nuyado is our primary Tsesungun consultant. According to Don Anselmo, the total number of Tsesungun speakers likely stands at under 20.