Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Many languages in danger of dying out


Posted on Monday, 11 February, 2013 | Comment icon 22 comments


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
It is thought that by the year 2100 we will have lost half the languages that are in use today.

History shows us that languages used by smaller cultures tend to be most at risk of being lost. Every fourteen days another language disappears, so what can be done to stop this from happening ? In California, Eureka High has become the largest school in the state to launch a program aimed at keeping alive the declining Native-American language Yurok, which in the 1990s was down to only 6 native speakers. Now thanks to revitalization efforts there are more than 300 speakers including at least 17 who are considered fluent.

Elsewhere, The Endangered Language Project is working towards creating a comprehensive online database of endangered languages. With 141 stored thus far it is hoped that the work being carried out will keep these languages alive for future generations and stop them from disappearing entirely.

"Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct."

  View: Full article |  Source: Smithsonian Magazine

  Discuss: View comments (22)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by Capt Amerika on 15 February, 2013, 14:57
I see no reason why we should care if the lesser used languages fade out of existence. Communication worldwide would actually improve if we had fewer language barriers. With that said, i would hope that someone is at least writing down something that would allow future generations the opportunity to translate anything they may come across that no one can read. Some sort of Rosetta stone if you will. As long as you can translate it if needed, i cant see how fewer languages is anything but a good thing.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Frank Merton on 15 February, 2013, 15:16
The problem of people from all over communicating is dealt with by have a lingua-franca (i.e., English) that everyone speaks. It is not necessary for other languages to become extinct. There are things about knowing several languages that it is hard to explain to the monolingual. There are ways of turning a phrase, forms of humor, rhyming and rhythm patterns, and things that can be said simply in one language that take verbose circumlocution to express in another. Also, words do not exactly translate. The boundaries of words differ, allowing metaphorical thinking that differs and literatures t... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Chooky88 on 16 February, 2013, 15:41
Seriously of all the things worth saving, languages are not it. Consider English. Even half a century ago English speakers spoke differently. Such as the word "gay". Do we realy care about preserving English from 1960? Do I really care what a Brazilian native calls a type of fish or an Aboriginal word for a small frog? Nope.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Tsa-La-Gie Oyate on 16 February, 2013, 16:11
Seriously of all the things worth saving, languages are not it. Consider English. Even half a century ago English speakers spoke differently. Such as the word "gay". Do we realy care about preserving English from 1960? Do I really care what a Brazilian native calls a type of fish or an Aboriginal word for a small frog? Nope. Let's face it: languages are an important part of cultural diversity of humanity, and some peoples in the world are interested in not having to forcefully learn another language in the name of conformity by a host country. The immense beauty and linguistic arts of each end... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Mikko-kun on 16 February, 2013, 16:19
Communication in the world doesn't improve with less languages, but deteriorates. It's true that there's language barriers, but the less languages you have, the less ways you have to express things in words. Each language has it's own concept of things, you notice this in more than just different structures... it's the cultures they stem from that bring those concepts to languages, and if you lose the language, you lose the way to communicate that concept in it's original meaning. It may be hard to understand if you've spoken only one language your entire life, but it's all there.
Comment icon #18 Posted by moonshadow60 on 16 February, 2013, 16:43
I know that not many people care, but I deeply regret the loss of the Swedish dialect my grandparents spoke. I only know a few words. While the prior generations lived, the language was alive. Now that they are gone, even their dialect has passed as it is no longer spoken in Sweden.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 16 February, 2013, 17:57
I wish I had learned Saxon from my grandparents when I had the chance But ever since Communism ruined Transylvania, and my people were scattered, their dialect of 'Saxon' is quickly being lost. I know a few words but I wish i was fluent.
Comment icon #20 Posted by highdesert50 on 18 February, 2013, 12:54
If you pardon the pun, there is much to said in defense of a common language. But, there is a tremendous amount of uniquely and wonderfully evolved terminology that embraces an entire culture in the context of a native language. That it is an art, it needs to be recognized and preserved.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 February, 2013, 13:05
It's an insoluble problem. We can and are saving vocabulary lists and grammatical rules and even where possible oral histories and literatures. This is all great and future historians and anthropologists will be grateful. Still, the language is lost, even with all that. The point of a language is to be fluent in it -- so fluent that you do not need to translate what you want to say from another language, and that you have all the little subtleties and minute differences in meaning as you move from language to language. These things cannot be preserved when the last native speakers are gone. Is... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by WhyDontYouBeliEveMe on 19 February, 2013, 8:52
over a few hundreds years we all ll be speaking the same language , telepathic


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5730602
259979
161434

 
Solar Impulse completes historic global trip
7-26-2016
The aircraft, which is powered entirely by the sun, has succeeded in flying around the entire world.
NASA to digitize data from Viking landers
7-25-2016
The data recorded during the historic Viking Mars missions is set to be archived in digital form.
New Megaraptor dinosaur found in Argentina
7-25-2016
A new species of meat-eating dinosaur dating back to the Late Cretaceous has been unearthed in Patagonia.
Has 'Beast of Bodmin' mystery been solved ?
7-24-2016
A zoo owner has come forward with information that could help to explain the alien big cat phenomenon.
Other news in this category
Solar Impulse completes historic global trip
Posted 7-26-2016 | 0 comments
The aircraft, which is powered entirely by the sun, has succeeded in flying around the entire world....
 
New metal is four times tougher than titanium
Posted 7-24-2016 | 15 comments
Scientists have created a brand new type of super-metal by melting together titanium and gold....
 
Defense firm buys out hoverboard company
Posted 7-24-2016 | 5 comments
The jet-powered Flyboard Air hoverboard may soon be seeing use in a range of military applications....
 
Major project fails to detect dark matter
Posted 7-21-2016 | 50 comments
Scientists have shut down their state-of-the-art dark matter detector after it failed to find anything....
 
Meet Graham - a man resistant to car crashes
Posted 7-21-2016 | 17 comments
Road safety authorities have created a model of a human being that has evolved to survive car accidents....
 
Scientists achieve atom-sized data storage
Posted 7-21-2016 | 26 comments
Increasingly sophisticated data storage systems are being built to meet the demands of modern computing....
 
Russian PAK-DA can 'launch nuke from space'
Posted 7-15-2016 | 75 comments
The new strategic bomber, which is currently in development, could be ready for action as early as 2020....
 
Nail-biters may experience fewer allergies
Posted 7-12-2016 | 8 comments
A new study has suggested that children who bite their nails a lot might not develop as many allergies....
 
Mystery still surrounds 1908 Tunguska event
Posted 7-10-2016 | 13 comments
Did an asteroid strike the remote Siberian wilderness over a century ago or did something else happen ?...
 
Bug may invalidate 15 years of brain research
Posted 7-8-2016 | 1 comment
A computer software bug has potentially rendered over a decade's worth of brain studies totally void....
 
Hadron Collider hints at another new particle
Posted 7-7-2016 | 12 comments
The team behind the world's largest atom smasher may be on the verge of making another major discovery....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ