We took a small break from Fact or Fiction Friday, but we’re back and better than ever! Today’s trivia question is as follows: There are 2,400 languages classified as being ‘endangered’. Fact? or Fiction?
There are 2,400 languages classified as being ‘endangered’. Is this Fact? or Fiction?
Sadly, this one is a fact.
A language is considered “extinct” when the last person who learned it as his or her primary tongue dies. In 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched an online atlas of endangered languages, labeling more than 2,400 at risk of extinction.
Trouble spots where languages are considered most endangered include Siberia, northern Australia, the North American Pacific Northwest, and parts of the Andes and Amazon, according to the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, a nonprofit partnering with National Geographic to record and promote disappearing tongues.
Language extinction has been a phenomenon for at least 10,000 years, since the dawn of agriculture.
For a list of the languages that are considered endangered head over to UNESCO’s website: http://www.unesco.org
Information found on http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/15/AR2009031501857.html
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 16, 2009