According to K. David Harrison, an assistant professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, there are 6 dying languages that are very close to extinction. These are the languages that have a very low literacy rate and may never be revived. Because of the modern era, these languages will no longer be written down or recorded in a dictionary. If you want to learn about these languages, read on.
The biggest threat to a linguistic ecosystem is no longer a forced suppression of a language, but a combination of factors. In many cases, climate change and urbanization are driving linguistically diverse populations to migrate or assimilate. For example, in Germany, Gottscheerisch speakers remember growing up in a one-room house where German and Gottscheerisch were spoken in the home.
Today, the biggest threat to the linguistic ecosystem is not a forced suppression of a language. Rather, the main cause of a dying language is due to a combination of environmental conditions and human migration. Urbanization and climate change have caused linguistically diverse communities to move away from their original homes, and the languages they speak are slowly being replaced by new ones. For example, in New Zealand, people in the indigenous Maori community have set up “language nests” where children learn Maori and English.
A language’s survival is often threatened by genocide. For instance, in the early 19th century, the Tasmanians were systematically exterminated by European invaders. Another cause of a dying language is pressure for integration. For example, in Greenland, Danish was the first language taught to Greenlanders, and they learned to speak Danish alongside Kalaallisut. And in Turkey, ethnic Kurds are prohibited from printing or teaching their own native tongue.
A language’s survival depends on its speakers. There are dozens of languages in the world with only one native speaker. If that person dies, the language will no longer be spoken or known. Moreover, this means that the culture of the people speaking the dying languages will be forgotten. UNESCO has started a program to preserve these endangered languages and promote new language policies. The program also produces an “Atlas of Languages in Danger.”
UNESCO’s endangered language program is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness of language loss and offers solutions to keep them alive. However, the list is far from complete. There are still a few other languages that are very close to extinction. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a growing concern. In fact, there are six languages that are very close to extinction.