Believe it or not, there are a number of languages in the world on the verge of total extinction.
It sounds almost absurd, doesn’t it? They’re not living, breathing things, after all. But when you start to contextualise them in this light, you’ll see that languages are one of our most precious resources – and ensuring their propagation is vital. Let’s take a look into the fascinating topic of the world’s most endangered languages.
How can a language be ‘endangered’?
By their very nature, languages are a limited resource. They are restricted only to those who know how to speak and understand the particular language. Hence, the smaller the pool of speakers, the higher the risk of extinction. There have been a number of reports in the past of specific dialects vanishing with one particular individual thanks to a lack of propagation. Take the Klallam language, for example. This is one variant of Native American language, and died along with its final speaker back in February 2014. There have been estimates made that half of the 6000 languages spoken today will be gone by the end of the current century.
The effects of language endangerment
It’s important to remember that a language isn’t simply a means of communication between people. It’s also a means of record keeping and documentation. What this means is that, when a language becomes extinct, we as a whole also lose all of the information and knowledge stored in books, texts and documents. For smaller languages and variant dialects, the effect is not so pronounced, however it’s easy to imagine a future in which some of the more common languages today also suffer a similar fate. Whilst language endangerment isn’t something critical today, it’s certainly an issue we have plenty of time to prevent.
What can be done to avoid extinction?
As with many things in life – especially things we carry inside our collective consciousness, like languages, concepts, and ideas – we believe the answer lies in education. At LCF Clubs, we have spent more than thirty years promoting and providing lessons for language learning. Naturally our focus in on French, Spanish and English, but the core concept is the same. We feel it is our duty to propagate and preserve these languages. Not only does language education keep all languages alive across the world, but it also opens doors to new cultural experiences, new friendships, new careers, and much more. By providing extra-curricular language learning to children of all ages, we’re able to sow the seeds that will carry these languages into the future in places other than their native lands. We think that’s something very special.
If you have a child you’d like to experience the joy of language learning, there are plenty of options open to you. Why not try out one of our clubs with a free trial, or explore online language learning with our Babelzone resources? You can reach our friendly team today by calling (0)7548 932102 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.