When a language dies, a culture ends. A unique way of thinking, understanding and seeing the world disappears. The death of a language can occur by a natural process, but it can also — and that’s often the case — be extinguished by the cultural imposition of a foreign language, the prohibition of its use and teaching, or criminalization and negligence.
According to the United Nations, of the 7,000 languages spoken today, 40% of indigenous languages are in danger of disappearing. The reasons are manifold, but the great culprit is the nation-state that for centuries has sought to unify and standardize entire populations, often diverse, with the aim of creating a single identity under its umbrella.
There are many initiatives to revitalize languages in danger of extinction or even to give new life to previously extinct languages, as in the case of Cornish in England or Livonian in Latvia, which, with about 20 new speakers, still sees new works of literature produced today. They can given a boost by social media — including YouTube.
Full article at FFWD’s page. Date of publication: 13/09/2019.