Which modern language is in danger of extinction?

larkin

Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
3,698
#1
Which current language or languages that are contemporarily in use and in print are endanger of extinction?

In the face of the dominance of languages like English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, there are often local efforts to preserve and encourage the continued use of a language even as its use declines internationally. Dutch and Gaelic come to mind..

If you speak one of the dominant languages, speaking one of these may be enough but increasingly if your native tongue is a secondary or minor language it requires one to learn one of the major groups.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
#3
Basque, Breton, Rhaetoroman and few other Alpine languages immediately come to mind. The list is quite long in fact.

Speaking a major language, although it can be important, is not really a must, it is enough, and surely even more important to know the local language. We see this with migrants, some of them for instance speak French or English already, but to succeed in Flanders (where Dutch is the main language) they have to learn Dutch, there's no way around it. One step further, when there are enough migrants of any common language, we see they have to learn neither Dutch, nor any of the major languages. They can happily live their lives and obtain their necessities in their Servo-Croatic or Chechen-speaking circles. Their children, however seem to have to learn the local language.

In my education both by family and by school i was taught to be proud that Flemings are supposedly good at learning different languages. I think that means that we as a relatively few people have culturally incorparated the need to learn foreign languages.

In the case of Dutch, rather than dissapearing, it is being heavily influenced by French and English.
 
Jun 2010
401
Rhondda, South Wales
#5
It is probably unpopular to say so, but I'd think that Welsh is in danger of becoming extinct...or at the very least becoming the new Latin, used primarily by people who want to work in the Welsh government. Despite being force-fed to us throughout our schooling, really outside of the north it's hardly ever used in day-to-day life. There are plenty who can speak it, but there are also people today who can speak Latin...but really the ability to speak a language does not equate to the language being used.
 

Vladd

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
5,561
England
#6
It is probably unpopular to say so, but I'd think that Welsh is in danger of becoming extinct...or at the very least becoming the new Latin, used primarily by people who want to work in the Welsh government. Despite being force-fed to us throughout our schooling, really outside of the north it's hardly ever used in day-to-day life. There are plenty who can speak it, but there are also people today who can speak Latin...but really the ability to speak a language does not equate to the language being used.
The only time I have heard Welsh spoken in public was in North Wales and then only after I ordered a drink in a pub and the locals realised I was English, almost immediately it seemed that spoken English stopped and Welsh began. Made me feel really welcome.
 
Jun 2010
401
Rhondda, South Wales
#8
The only time I have heard Welsh spoken in public was in North Wales and then only after I ordered a drink in a pub and the locals realised I was English, almost immediately it seemed that spoken English stopped and Welsh began. Made me feel really welcome.
We will sometimes do that in the south when we want to wind people up...which is usually when England have just beaten Wales in the rugby. Unfortunately most of us can only say "rydw i'n hoffi coffi" (I like coffee), which does ruin the effect a bit...
 
Jul 2011
131
#9
It is probably unpopular to say so, but I'd think that Welsh is in danger of becoming extinct...or at the very least becoming the new Latin, used primarily by people who want to work in the Welsh government. Despite being force-fed to us throughout our schooling, really outside of the north it's hardly ever used in day-to-day life. There are plenty who can speak it, but there are also people today who can speak Latin...but really the ability to speak a language does not equate to the language being used.
That's an interesting assessment, quite sad, too, if that were to be the case..

On another note, possibly Tuvaluan, the language of a Polynesian people who live on the island of Tuvalu, an island that is slowly sinking, leaving no alternative but future assimilation.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,027
Canary Islands-Spain
#10
In Spain, Castillian is the main language but lives with many more different languages, as most you know. But, some of them are nearly unknown out of Spain. I'll post all these languages from east to west, you'll notice a continuum in Latin languages, with an eastern group and a western one, non latin Basque in the middle

Catalan, 7 million speakers
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDckoo7Y8UI"]Xavi 550 [Catalán][06-01-11][Parte 3-4] - YouTube[/ame]

Aranese, actually a French Occitan language (Gascon), heavilly catalanized. 4,700 speakers
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3S7cZvQA1Q&feature=related"]Normes Ortografiques der Aranés_1 - YouTube[/ame]

Aragonese (ancient Navarro-Aragonese), difficult classification, heavilly castellanized, 11,000 speakers
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6yyu3RVrcs&feature=related"]Archivo Audiovisual del Aragonés: Ribagorza - YouTube[/ame]

----------------------

Basque, 650,000 speakers
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv3SIWj3iN4"]Estandarizacion de la lengua euskera - YouTube[/ame]


--------------------


Castillian-Spanish (I put it here in order to compare). People from Burgos and Valladolid, Spaniards tend to think that this is the perfect Spanish
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP3eXGkQS9k"]TAPEANDO - Tapeando por Aranda de Duero - YouTube[/ame]



Astur-Leones 165,000 speakers
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBcuJ6in6fM&feature=related"]L'asturianu vive: Tradición Oral Asturiana (Recitaos Vaqueiros), Cangas del Narcea - YouTube[/ame]


Galician, 2.5 million speakers
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLPdW9l_c7M"]43. Na Coruña fálase: Na praia [Eu Falo - A navalla Suiza] - YouTube[/ame]


Portuguese. Inside Portugal, northern speakers speak nearly as Galician, but central and southern ones are a bit different,
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56_up0cmw94"]Radio E Televisão profile on Univ Coimbra (Portuguese) - YouTube[/ame]


This is the evolution of all these languages: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped.../800px-Linguistic_map_Southwestern_Europe.gif

These three western Iberian languages, A-L, Galician and Portuguese are for me the most beautiful languages on Earth :)
 
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