The Death of Language
It is a sad fact within our very changing world, that scientists estimate that a language dies every 14 days. Once a fortnight a language spoken somewhere in the world is being abandoned in favour of other more popular languages such as English, Spanish and Mandarin.
It is estimated that approximately 48% of the world’s different languages in this current era are at risk of abandonment.
War, military involvement and the plight of refugees are just small reasons why languages are left abandoned in home regions, towns and villages. Religion, education and isolation are also other reasons why people lean towards the known world and the most common forms of language and communication.
For example, here in the UK, we have two languages that are in danger of extinction – Cornish (Cornwall) and Manx (from the Isle of Man).
UNESCO consider that it is the home life that can render a language endangered. If the language is spoken by grandparents and parents but not followed by the children, each generation will learn less; if the language is banned from being spoken in the home or children are no longer required to learn their mother tongue, these languages brink on extinction.
By 2100 it is estimated that half of the 7000 languages spoken on earth will have disappeared, many of which have never been formally named or identified.
If people are penalised, taunted or forbidden from using their language, then we stand to lose great treasures of this world. Just because you do not understand it, does not mean you can reject it. It’s called culture and individuality – a professor in linguistics once said, “language holds a world of knowledge and when we lose a language, we lose the knowledge and the history – we lose a connection to a faraway land.”