A press release issued by the UN in December 2019 quoted President of the UN General Assembly as saying that despite efforts throughout the year, one indigenous language disappears every fortnight.
UNESCO has six degrees of endangerment for languages. These are:
- Safe, which are the languages spoken by all generations and their intergenerational transmission is uninterrupted;
- Vulnerable languages, which are spoken by most children but may be restricted to certain domains;
- Definitely endangered languages, which are no longer being learnt by children as their mother tongue.
- Severely endangered are languages spoken by grandparents and older generations, and while the parent generation may understand it, they may not speak it with the children or among themselves.
- Critically endangered languages are those of which the youngest speakers are the grandparents or older family members who may speak the language partially or infrequently; and
- Extinct languages, of which no speakers are left.
Important Info :
- As per UNESCO, roughly 57 % of the world’s estimated 6,000 languages are safe, about 10 % are vulnerable, 10.7 % are definitely endangered, about 9 % are severely endangered, 9.6 % are critically endangered and about 3.8 % of all languages are extinct since 1950.
- As per the Endangered Languages Project (ELP), there are roughly 201 endangered languages in India.
- The last year, 2019, was the International Year of Indigenous Languages, mandated by the United Nations (UN).
Source : Indian Express