In this era when the world is more connected than before, many new languages are born and some languages become extinct. Around 7000 living languages are being spoken in 195 countries. UNESCO has developed the list of endangered languages in which they have devised the range of spoken languages from vulnerable to extinct. According to them, most of these languages will be extinct until 2100. At present where many nations are learning the new languages, at the same time, they are unable to preserve old languages. If any language is avoided for 14 days, it loses its importance and becomes extinct.
Defining the Scale for Endangered Languages
To know the probability of how much the languages are endangered, UNESCO has defined the languages based on their vitality and endangerment. It starts with safety and ends with extinction. There are four categories to determine how much the language is in danger.
In UNESCO’s scale, the level of endangerment depends upon the age of speakers. Those languages are considered vulnerable that are spoken by both children and their parents. Children use these languages at home. These languages are not taught in school so they are not used in formal settings.
Definitely endangered are those languages that are not chosen by the children as their native language at home. Parents prefer to speak those languages with the children that are spoken in their region.
Severely endangered languages are those languages that are not learned and spoken by children and parents. Parents are not aware of these languages and that language remains restricted to grandparents and only grandparents can preserve them.
Critically endangered languages are those languages that are not spoken by grandparents. It means they are not spoken by one generation so they easily become extinct.
Ten Endangered Languages
Resigaro is an Amazonian language. It is native to Peru with only one surviving speaker. In 2016, Rosa Andrade Ocagane who was the last speaker of Resigaro was murdered in Peru at the age of 67. Rosa with her brother Pablo was the last known speaker of resigaro making it a most endangered language. They were the children of Resigaro mother and Ocaina father. They used to speak their mother’s language only to honor her and they were in the list of 40 last speakers of Ocaina.
Ngan’gikurunggurr is an indigenous Australian language that is critically endangered. Researchers have found out that there are only 200 speakers left and this is only because research is done on this language. As per the census of 2016, only 26 speakers are left.
Another language that is included in the list of endangered languages is the Chamicuro language. It is the Peruvian language. There is suspicion about the fact that Peruvian tribe is taken over by the Spanish. In 2008, researchers found that there were only 8 surviving speakers. It is too late to preserve this language.
Alawa is another extinct language. It is also called Galawa or Waliburu. This language is spoken by elderly native Australians in the Northern Territory. In 2016 there are only 4 people that can speak this language and it is expected that after a few years this language will be no more.
The Ainu people are native to Japan’s Hokkaido Island and they are widely impressed by Japanese culture. In the late 19th century Ainu language was banned but the Ainu language revived in 1980,with the revival of Japanese culture. At that time this language has native two and fifteen native speakers and they were older than 64.
The Dumi is a Nepalese language and it has 200 speakers till 2007. This language is endangered because parents who spoke this language don’t encourage their children to learn this language that is why this language lost its importance and vanished.
The endangered languages are also weak. Yuchi language is a unique language. There are many attempts done to preserve this language and many videos are recorded for this language preservation.
Ter Sami is a language spoken in Russia by only ten people. This language is replaced by the Russian language. There is no record of this language present so this language is on the verge of extinction.
This language is spoken by Turkic people that are residing in Tomsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk in Russia. There were 44 speakers of Chulym till 2010, they were called Oc. The younger speaker is of 54 years. This language got vanished in 1930.
Records of 2011 show that there is only one native speaker of Patwin that is spoken by Native Americans in West-Central California. Many people have tried to revive this language. They have started the language class from pre-school to high school and also include Itunes for teaching purposes.
Endangered languages are the hardest hit because their speakers are scarce in numbers and socioeconomic status. As per the United Nations, every other language is dying every two weeks and many other languages are at stake. Languages depict the cultural heritage of any nation, so many nations are taking measures to preserve indigenous languages.