In order to judge if a language is endangered, the number of speakers is less important than the age distribution; There are languages in Indonesia reported with as many as two million native speakers alive now, but all of advancing age, with little or no transmission to the young. On the other hand, while there are 30,000 Ladin speakers left, almost all children still learn it as their mother tongue, thus Ladin is not endangered in the 21st century. Similarly, the Hawaiian language has only about 1,000 speakers but it has stabilized at this number, and now has school instruction in the language, from Pūnana Leo immersion preschool classes through college.
While there are somewhere around six or seven thousand languages on Earth today, about half of them have fewer than about 3,000 speakers. Experts predict that even in an optimistic scenario, about half of today's languages will go extinct within the next fifty to one hundred years. Accordingly, the list below presents only a sample of the approximately 3,000 currently endangered languages.Africa
Ata Meken faction asks State Commission for State Language to comment on 2002 UN decision to recognize Kyrgyz language as dying language.
Jan 11, 2011; Ata Meken faction asked the head of the State Commission for State Language, Azimzhan Ibraimov, to comment on the decision of the...
The languages of extinction: The world's endangered tongues Every fortnight, another language dies; some 40 per cent of the world's languages are thought to be at risk. Now a new study has identified those that are most endangered. Claire Soares reports
Sep 20, 2007; Twenty-six different ways in fact. Small wonder, then, that 90 per cent of Nivkhs choose to communicate in Russian but that...