40% of world's languages face extinction

The Oceania region has the highest density of endangered languages, where 733 languages are at risk.

Bhoomi Goyal
Published on: 5 Feb 2024 10:02 AM GMT
40% of worlds languages face extinction

There are currently 7,168 languages spoken around the world. But 43 percent of these are facing the threat of extinction because the number of people speaking them is now less than a thousand.

According to the data of Visual Capitalist, the situation is that every 40 days one language is dying out. Most endangered languages are associated with indigenous communities, putting their associated culture and knowledge at risk of being lost. If the current rate of extinction continues, 90 percent of languages will disappear within the next 100 years.

Currently, more than 8.8 crore people speak endangered languages. Endangered languages means that children neither learn nor use them. The Oceania region has the highest density of endangered languages, where 733 languages are at risk. At the same time, 428 languages are endangered in Africa, many of which are around the equator. Displacement, drought and conflict are some of the major reasons due to which languages are likely to be endangered. 222 languages in North and Central America are at risk of extinction.

With a population of about 8.9 million, Papua New Guinea is home to the largest number of languages in the world, according to Ethnologue data. A total of 840 languages are spoken in this diverse country. Indonesia ranks second in terms of number of languages. Nigeria, India and America are among the top five countries, whereas only the 23 most prominent languages of the world are now spoken by more than 50 percent of the global population.

Māori: In the 1970s, only five percent of schoolchildren spoke the Māori language (spoken primarily in the North Island of New Zealand). Due to conservation efforts this percentage has now increased to 25.

Olelo Hawai'i: 2,000 people spoke the Hawaiian language Olelo Hawai'i in the 1970s. The number of speakers increased to 18,700 in 2023 after the local government ensured it was taught in schools.

Advances in AI: Advances in AI are important for preserving languages. Companies like Google are creating tools that can translate languages at impressive speeds, making endangered languages more accessible.

Bhoomi Goyal

Bhoomi Goyal

English Content Writer in Newstrack from Jaipur, Rajasthan. (Education, Business, Technology, Political, Sports, Lifestyle, Crime and Webstories)

My self Bhoomi Goyal from Jaipur, Rajasthan. I have passed my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication this year. I worked in Rajasthan Patrika for six months as an intern. I am working here from June 1st. I passed my graduation in BCA from Rajasthan University and master's in journalism and mass communication from Vivekananda Global University, Jaipur.

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