Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
Extinct languages or Endangered languages, how have we come this far of spoken and written global languages.
We live in a world where speaking is one of the autonomous laws. We have the right to speech. The place we live in or are born in has its native language which is the direct source of “the right to speak.” The work put into making another person understand what we are trying to say has everything to do with the language we use. All languages have their roots, even sign language.
When civilization began, there were different ways of communicating. The global languages today are known to have evolved at the time the modern Homo-sapiens evolved.
In this aspect, many languages have evolved but some of them have not. What we speak today is not what was spoken even a year ago. As per our daily dialect, we speak something and mean something else. We hear something and write something else. Our languages evolve on a daily basis.
Around the world we see cultural centers open up for all kinds of languages that are under the embassy of the respective place. These centers not only guide with the cultural aspect of a country but also their languages. Yet, there are not enough of these places. All embassies should open up cultural centers to teach more and more about their country as well as the language.
English, the most spoken language today is the result of the evolution that began in the fifth century AD by the Angles, Saxon, Jutes, and Frisians. Though the spoken tongue was the same, West Germanic, still, the dialects were different. The mingling of these dialects created a new form of language which is now referred to as Anglo-Saxon or Old English.
The official global language is English.
As we understand about the English language, there is another language that is known to be endangered but is still called “the mother of all languages”, i.e. Sanskrit.
Belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo- European family, it is known to be the oldest language. Vedic Sanskrit is the oldest form of Sanskrit that dates back to the second millennium BCE.
Knowing the history of the evolution of English is just one small example of how our global languages have taken the shape to become what they are today. English comprises many words of different dialects that have come across since the beginning of when people started understating language. Now, we know that many originations of languages have come and gone but how much of them have stayed in our dialects?
Certain languages are called endangered or moribund and that is because they are on the verge of disappearing, whether the speakers have died out or they have shifted to speak other languages. A loss of language happens when it has no native speakers left and therefore, becomes a “dead language.”
As per UNESCO, of the 7,000 global languages spoken, 43% of them are endangered.
Extinct languages are the ones that no longer have native speakers. In the time gap, between 1950 to 2010, there were about 230 languages that went extinct, as per the record of UNESCO, 2010. As per International Language Services (ILS), 2019, there are about 573 extinct languages.
Every day our lives change but so does the way we speak. We are not aware of the 7,000 and more languages spoken but they exist and are accounted for at the least.
As per the information above, few languages have been extinct and are the origin of the languages we speak today. Some of them are:
Endangered languages still have roots in our lives. We may not know how but they exist, but they are around us. There are four types of endangered languages; critically endangered, vulnerable, severely endangered, definitely endangered.
Some of the endangered are:
The above-mentioned languages are the ones with very few native speakers. These languages have speakers only in thousands.
With restoring the history and heritage of our culture, languages are a big part of it. One should be able to speak at least its native tongue so that culture is well defined by its followers. Many schools tend to make students pursue their native tongue and few schools have options to choose a second language as an extra subject from the global languages taught. These languages that we choose to study or are meant to study are the bridge to have a cultural adaptation around the world.
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You can also read more in this article about blurring the line between language and culture.