Sadly, what they share in common is extinction: according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization if nothing is done, at least half of the 6,000 languages currently spoken will be extinct by the year 2100.
It’s alarming to think every 14 days a language dies and 43% of languages spoken in the world are now endangered.
So, what’s causing this?
People have just stopped speaking them. People aren’t passing down and sharing languages with younger generations. It’s unclear whether this is due to a lack of interest or a simple fact of practicality in the societies and cultures people choose to live in.
English is becoming more and more prevalent. Business, education and all things digital often cater to understanding and speaking fluent English. To truly master it and become skilled at speaking it requires constant dialogue in it and this pushes native languages to the side. Many parents choose to teach their children English to ensure they have the best opportunities to advance.
Immigration is impacting it. As people move to adapt and survive in new places language is often one of the first things to change and with more natural disasters related to climate change displacing the world’s population language will inevitably also be displaced.
Many linguists, academics and global-minded organizations are working to support efforts to save endangered languages. For example, GoCompare, a British financial services website has launched a project to capture the tone and rhythm of some endangered languages.
At LinguaLinx, we love languages and this is a cause very near and dear to our hearts. Every day, we work closely with our clients to ensure the integrity of the languages they use to communicate. We’d like to help you keep language alive, contact us.