One reader took issue with the idea that the Kumeyaay language is “a few deaths away from extinction,” a statement made by Ana Celia Zentella, who I interviewed for our weekend Q&A.

Suzanne Emery, a Poway parks docent who is taking a class on Kumeyaay cooking, wrote me an e-mail raising these points:

You might enjoy a visit to the lively Kumeyaay Language class offered on Thursday evenings through Kumeyaay Community College, a subset of Cuyamaca College. … [S]tudents spend several hours learning to converse in Kumeyaay, through games, practical exercises with grocery store items, and following directions from Rodriguez  and from classmates — all in Kumeyaay dialect. Age in the class ranges from high school to retired oldster and include native and non-native learners.  They are hardly a “few deaths away from extinction.” Furthermore, the Kumeyaay people of Mexico, still speak the language.

I’m out of town this week but still fielding your e-mails. Feel free to contact me at


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