Google recently launched endangeredlanguages.com, an online collaborative effort to preserve linguistic diversity around the world, giving the chance to threatened languages and those on the cusp of extinction to survive and thrive once more.
From the site:
Experts estimate that only 50% of the languages that are alive today will be spoken by the year 2100.
The disappearance of a language means the loss of valuable scientific and cultural information, comparable to the loss of a species.
Tools for collaboration between the world communities, scholars, organizations and concerned individuals can make a difference.
The Endangered Languages Project, is an online resource to record, access, and share samples of and research on endangered languages, as well as to share advice and best practices for those working to document or strengthen languages under threat.
The site shows a map displaying different endangered languages, color-coded by how threatened they are. There are literally hundreds of endangered languages all over the world – some with only a handful of speakers remaining – and it’s great that projects like this exist, not only to raise awareness about language diversity but also to help preserve the threatened tongues.
While the continued growth of English as the world’s lingua franca does mean easier communication between different cultures, more languages than ever before find themselves threatened by ever-increasing globalization.