Exposing Rare Languages - Your Language Service Provider

March 12, 2018

When it comes to languages, the world is a colorful patch field. Around the world there are about 6,000 languages spoken. Language plays a crucial role in our lives – without it there would be no communication possible and we wouldn’t be able to connect with other people. Languages also bring many different cultures, values, traditions and beliefs along. But despite its high importance, many languages are in danger and might face extinction soon. We as a Language Service Provider care a lot about languages. Thus, we would like to point out the danger of those disappearing languages. 

It is said that worldwide, every two weeks a language dies. UNESCO states that about 43 percent of the world’s languages are endangered. Further investigations on language extinction say that half of all existing languages will disappear by the year 2050. Around 2,000 languages worldwide have fewer than 1,000 native speakers and thus are endangered. 

Above all, many languages in Latin America are threatened. Latin America is one of the most complex linguistic areas where a high number of indigenous languages are spoken with many diversities in phonetics, grammar and vocabulary. But one-fifth of indigenous people of that continent have already lost their native tongue. More popular languages like Spanish, French and English gain more and more importance and people are aware that without knowing those languages making a living is difficult. 

What are the endangered languages in Latin America?

  • Quechuan: Quechuan is the most important indigenous language of South America with about 8 million people using it. Being a language of the Incas, it is 2,000 years old. It is spoken in many areas in Latin America, from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. But despite its wide reach this tongue is under threat: in some regions it already disappeared completely and this phenomenon is likely to be continued.

  • Yagan and Apiaka: Both languages are seen has highly endangered. Yagan is spoken in Chile, in the area Tierra del Fuego; Apiaka was used by the Apiaka tribe located in Grosso, Brazil. In both languages there is only one native speaker remaining. In the Apiaka tribe, most people talk Portuguese now.

  • Chamicuro: According to UNESCO Chamicuro is another critically endangered language. In the Chamicuro tribe, located in Peru, only elderly people know this language; children do not learn Chamicuro anymore and instead learn Spanish. 

  • Qawasqar: Qawasqar is spoken in the southern part of Chile. Although Qawasqar is well-developed, having a dictionary, official grammar rules and texts, this language too has almost disappeared. 

  • Vilela: Vilela is spoken by a few elderly people in Argentina. It is feared that with the disappearance of their mother-tongue, their Indian identity and traditions will also disappear.

This article gives a short overview of the threatened languages in Latin America, continuing this list would almost be ceaseless. Languages not just in Latin America but all over the world are in danger of becoming extinct. It is important to shed light on preserving languages and highlight the importance of languages.

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