Mapping endangered languages

UNESCO has released a new “Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger”.

Following the end of the International Year of Languages (2008) and International Mother Language Day, The United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has released an “Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger”. Available as a downloadable 19 MB file, there is also a time-draining interactive version that had me virtually traveling all over the world to “visit” the endangered language sites. Each language entry in the interactive Atlas contains a tab for comments designed to collect feedback from speakers of endangered languages and experts who study these languages. (Thanks to John Prieur of Language Line for this information.)

Continuing the theme, the current issue issue of The UNESCO Courier focuses on languages at risk of disappearing. UNESCO’s Lucía Iglesias Kuntz states, “When languages die, not only words disappear, but ways of seeing and describing reality; we lose valuable knowledge and worlds of thought.”

Marjolein Groot Nibbelink
Marjolein realized early on that the Netherlands was too small for her. After traveling to 30+ countries over the span of 10 years she moved to the United States in 2014. She holds a degree in Communication from the University of Rotterdam and has long had an affinity for creative writing.


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