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Half of languages may vanish by 2100
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:41 pm Reply with quote
malasay
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Half of languages may vanish by 2100‎
Sat, 15 May 2010 09:16:05 GMT

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says half of all modern languages will "probably vanish" by the end of the century.

"We are seeing an unprecedented rate of language extinction or language death," Professor K. David Harrison, the director of the Living Tongues Institute of Philadelphia-based Swarthmore College has recently said in a report by Aljazeera.

"Approximately half of the world's languages are considered to be endangered. And we may be losing a language as often as one every two weeks," he added.

According to Harrison and his colleagues, there are several "Hot Spots" around the world where clusters of endangered languages are concentrated. They include northern Australia, eastern Siberia, central South America and two regions in North America: the Pacific Northwest and Oklahoma.

"Languages disappear for many reasons, but usually it is because the speakers are pressured to assimilate to a more dominant culture," Harrison noted.

"They are made to feel from a very young age that their language is not as good, is not as worthy, is not as modern as other languages that may be spoken," he further explained.

Their loss could limit our knowledge about history, culture and nature, UNESCO says.

There are more than 7,000 languages currently spoken in the world, many of which are not recorded or have a written form.

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Half of languages may vanish by 2100
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