What is Language Loss?

Language is the life blood of culture.

With every language lost, we lose a people's unique viewpoint on the world.

LINGUICIDE IN THE UNITED STATES



LAKOTA IN CRISIS



A WORLD WIDE PROBLEM


Human diversity is measured, in part, by the languages we speak. Language is the keystone of cultural and tribal recognition and commonality. Each language expresses a mindset that is, in the end, unique to the community that speaks it.

The number of different languages spoken across the world has been in steady decline since 1950. Despite modern advances in many domains, our world is shrinking in the area of linguistic and cultural variety and distinction. Of the more that 6,000 languages spoken across the planet, over 43% are considered endangered and more than half of all languages will become extinct in the next 100 years at current rates.


UNESCO measures language vitality in six measures of health: Safe; Vulnerable; Definitely Endangered; Severely Endangered; Critically Endangered; and Extinct. Currently 577 languages are Critically Endangered- on the verge of extinction.

After global warming, language loss is the Earth’s most acute crisis. Visit our sister site, The Language Conservancy, to learn more about this world wide crisis.

UNESCO-critically-endangered-map3-1

The 2013 UNESCO map of endangered languages.

The Language Conservancy