Ever heard of Faroese, Karaim and Pite Saami? And do you know why they are more and more commonly associated with the adjectives “vulnerable” and “endangered”? The answer comes from an article by The Guardian, in which speakers of these threatened European languages talk about their unique, cultural and linguistic heritage. Understanding that linguistic diversity is a cultural value and that protection of minority languages is part of our human rights is essential to prevent half of the over 6,000 languages spoken worldwide today from disappearing by the end of this century. Many organisations and institutions are now engaged in raise awareness about language endangerment, especially UNESCO with its project Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Will we passively witness this destructive process or take initiative to help speaker communities safeguard their cultural and linguistic roots? We must not fail to make the effort to stand up for language rights, and maybe it will even be possible to make language diversity a new cool trend among younger generations.
You might also want to take a look at UNESCO’s projects for Endangered Languages.
by Cristina Pagliuca
Translator & Localiser
Terminology Trainee at TermCoord