What future for the world’s rarest languages?

Changes in global dominance often leads to changes in the use of languages. For example, Russian and Mandarin are now commonly taught in UK schools, whilst German has suffered a decline in popularity.

In some cases, languages can die out alotogether.

The last speaker of Bo died in 2010: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/8500108.stm 

In early 2008, a native Alaskan language died with its last speaker and more languages are set to disappear:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7206411.stm

Beyond sentimental feeling, it is hard to know just what the impact of losing languages will be. The UN is very concerned about the effect on culture and has created a register of languages at risk:

http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?pg=00206

The Living Tongues Institute aims to help preserve endangered languages: http://www.livingtongues.org/ and the National Geographic has also documented languages at risk: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/mission/enduringvoices/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: