With less than 100 speakers of each left, Mexicos National Institute of Indian Languages is warning that sixty-four of the countrys 364 Indian dialects are at high risk of dying out.
Javier Lopez Sanchez, who heads up the Mexican National Institute of Indian Languages, told the Mexican Newspaper Informador that of the 364 indigenous Indian dialects in Mexico, which are versions of the country’s 68 indigenous languages, 64 could indeed eventually perish.
In many cases, according to Lopez Sanchez, speakers of disappearing dialects are dispersed and no longer live in a single community.
Many parents aren’t passing their languages on to their children, and in communities in Mexico’s north, Indian children may have a passive understanding of their parent’s language but are unwilling or unable to speak it, he explained.
“There are entire communities where the children don’t speak their indigenous language,” Lopez Sanchez told the Associated Press.
Expert Francisco Barriga said one problem undermining Indian languages is that media and Internet favor Spanish, Mexico’s dominant national language.
“Children … turn on the television, go to school, they try to integrate themselves, and Spanish is omni-present,” Barriga said. “The key issue is to make Indian languages present in the media.”
Click on the interactive map on www.endangeredlanguages.com to explore more about endangered and dying languages around the world.
By Alex Dupont
Marketing Communications Specialist
Language Translation Inc.
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Scores of indigenous dialects in Mexico are at ‘high risk’ of disappearing, the head of the country’s National Institute of Indigenous Languages has warned.
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