Endangered Languages

One of Duolingo‘s aims is to help preserve endangered languages and encourage people to learn them. That’s a very interesting idea, and I think it’s very important that it succeeds. At the moment, there aren’t really any endangered languages, just some regional languages within some countries.

While maybe not endangered, you can learn Irish, Catalan, and even Guarini. There are many North American native languages that are slowly disappearing, and could find a home on Duolingo. There’s a push for Cherokee at the moment, but someone also mentioned Navajo. That would be interesting to learn.

There are some extinct languages that are being suggested, as well. That includes Latin (while not extinct, it’s not exactly widely spoken), Ancient Greek, and Old English. A few also want Old Norse.

And then I found this, the Endangered Languages Project. The map shows a huge number of languages that are endangered and more. There are 74 languages listed for Canada, 175 for the USA, and even 13 for the UK. And actually, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh are on the list for the UK and Ireland. It’ll take a long time to browse around that website, but it’s very interesting.

Are you interested in learning an endangered language?

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6 thoughts on “Endangered Languages”

  1. I’m interested in Gaelic. I love the idea of learning Navaho simply for the fact that it was the language used to communicate in code during WWII. However, there’s a better change of teaching a monkey algebra than me learning Navaho.

  2. Interested in learning obscure languages? Yes. But don’t ask me which ones — the reply could be… weird. And language courses never teach you how to say rude things, which is sometimes what is most needed. (I’m a writer; I occasionally need to know how to cuss in another language. At least that’s the excuse I’m giving here. 🙂 )

    1. Of course, rude language is a requirement for writing. There should be somewhere you can learn swearing in different languages. Imagine being a foul mouthed polyglot.

      1. There used to be a website called Swearsaurus (or something like that), which had cussing and insults from more than a hundred languages. You can learn a lot about a culture from what things it considers rude to say. Oh, the things one can stumble upon when doing research for a novel…

        1. It is pretty interesting looking at swearing in Japanese and English. A lot of the words are actually quite similar, although they are totally different languages. Parallel swearing evolution?

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