When an animal becomes extinct, all we have are the records of that animal and how it interacted with its environment. For some, we have fossils, bones and other records of their moment on this earth. But when a language becomes extinct, unless we have something recorded such as a writing system or more recently actual audio recordings, we lose everything about the sound of that language.
This article goes quite this wonderful news about the film "The Linguists". I am SO excited about this film. Many people are not aware of linguistics or what linguists do. I can remember my graduate schools days when people would say, "what are you studying?" There were many answers; law, English literature, business management..But when I answered "linguistics", eyes rolled, eyebrows raised and crickets started to sing.
Linguistics is an important branch of the sciences. Enjoy this movie. I know I will.