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Saturday, January 31, 2009

KEEPING LANGUAGES ALIVE



The world’s diverse languages should be spoken, celebrated, and preserved, writes SHELDON SHAEFFER .

Not a week passes without the report of a species - ranging from Bornean orangutans to Australian spiders - being threatened, endangered, or newly extinct. Large amounts of resources, both human and financial, and considerable passion, of both environmentalists and developers, are expended in the fight over whether to save the species or let it die. The preservation of biodiversity, seen as essential for a sustainable future, has become a major battleground of this century.

If only so much passion were devoted to another kind of diversity - that of languages and cultures! For languages - and the cultures they transmit - are in serious trouble. Ninety-seven percent of the world’s people speak only 4% of the world’s languages, which means that only 3% of the world’s people speak 96% of its languages.

In 1992, the linguist Michael Krauss predicted that, if nothing were done, 90 percent of the world’s 6,000 or so living languages (1/3 of which are in Asia) would become extinct over the next hundred years. Fifty percent of these he classified as “moribund” (where the language is not being taught to or learned by children of the language group) and another 40% as “endangered” (where the conditions exist that, if not changed, will result in the language not being passed on to the next generation). Thus, only 10% of the world’s total languages can be reasonably classified as “safe” - in other words, languages which have very large numbers of speakers and official state support. Linguistic and cultural diversity is under serious threat around the world.


courtesy of Tansang Kenyalang,read more at;

http://gnmawar.wordpress.com/keeping-languages-alive/

9 comments:

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Robb, nice blog, will follow...

AV
http://netherregionoftheearthii.blogspot.com/
http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/

Robb Sempurai said...

Thank you.

on the edge said...

Hey Rob ! This is interesting and it looks as if you have a lot to say about your country that I'd love to learn .Please don't take offense with this next question , a little humor so to speak , but are there really Wild Women of Borneo there ?LOL !I ask because I sometimes think I am one , lol !Take care OTE

June Saville said...

I absolutely agree with you about disappearing languages and cultures. Difference is so precious. What will it be like when everything is the same?
Thanks for following Journeys in Creative Writing ...
Thanks for
June in Oz

Darrel said...

I think you have something to say.......I'll follow you
darrel
www.whydepression.info

Adam James Nall said...

Very good article.

Thanks very much for following 'De Factoids'.

Best,

AJN
http://adamjamesnall.blogspot.com/

ApairosaOnline said...

A very interesting topic to share with us.

Saif said...

language is an integral part of any culture. i agree that languages should be preserved, because the essence of any culture lies within it language ...

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