25 Most Endangered Languages In The World

Countries around the world may boast of languages inherent to them alone, but the fact remains that if they do not do something about their own endangered languages, they may quietly go into extinction. There are many reasons why a certain language became endangered. It may be because the population who speaks the language is in physical danger due to natural disasters, war, and genocide but it can also be because the speakers are prevented from speaking the language due to political repression or cultural hegemony. Whatever the reason these are the 25 most endangered languages in the world.

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25

Ainu

Ainu

Ainu, a Japanese dialect, is known as one of the rarest language still in existence. The members of the Ainu ethnic group on the island of Hokkaido speak the language. It has no other genealogical relationship with any other languages, but until the 20th century, a small number of people in the Kuri Islands spoke it. All languages, except the Hokkaido language are extinct and though the Hokkaido Ainu is endangered with 300 known users and 15 fluent speakers, there are ongoing attempts to revive it.

24

Apiaka

Apiaka

Apiaka is the spoken language of the indigenous people of the same name who reside in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Belonging to the sixth branch of the Tupi language, the Apiaka dialect is considered by UNESCO to be critically endangered where there is only one remaining speaker who can fully speak the language. Nowadays, most people of the Apiaka tribe speak Portuguese, while those who intermarry with other tribes speak their spouses’ language. While there had been attempts to revive the language, these were mainly unsuccessful. However, there is a recent initiative to revive the language through the production of the ‘Apiaka Word’ textbook.

23

Bikya

Bikya

Bikya, which is also known as Furu, is a Bantoid language spoken in Cameroon. The language was put in the spotlight when an English linguist, David Dilby, filmed an 87-year old woman speaking in Bikya, her native tongue. Four surviving speakers were identified in 1986, and only one man in his seventies can speak the language. There is a possibility that this language is already extinct, though there is no proof yet to prove otherwise.

22

Chamicuro

Chamicuro

This is a critically endangered language with only 8 people known to speak the language. The Chamicuro tribe, which is an aboriginal tribe in South America, has a population of 10 to 20 people who live in the tributary of the Huallaga River in a beautiful plain called Pampa Hermosa in Peru. Though a Chamicuro dictionary has been created, no children can speak the language as they all shifted to Spanish.

21

Chemehuevi

Chemehuevi

This language is a Uto-Aztecan, Northern Uto-Aztecan, Numic, Southern language spoken by the Chemehuevi tribe. You can hear this language being spoken in Ute, Colorado and in other areas like Southern Pauite, Utah, northern Arizona, southern parts of Nevada, and the Colorado River in California. Though the Chemehuevi is still existing and thriving today, only 3 adults are known to fully speak the language. Common Chemehuevi words still spoken today include kaiv for mountain, hucip for ocean, mahav for tree, and tittvip for ground or soil.



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