According to National Geographic, one language dies every 14 days. So, how long do you think would it take for the estimated 6, 900 languages in the world to vanish entirely? It’s been said that by 2100, more than half of them and even those that haven’t been recorded yet may disappear.
Language defines culture. It would be safe to deduce that once a language or dialect dies, a part of one’s history or culture would vanish along with it. With people favoring English, Mandarin and other popular languages, those lesser known ones are getting closer to extinction.
Instead of the word unusual, these languages are rather known as lesser taught or lesser learned for obvious reasons. Books, linguists or a translation company may be the closest individuals aside from locals who have heard about them. Ways to preserve them would be studying them, teaching them, and letting the world know about them.
Why Study Unusual Languages
- For linguists and students, learning such languages will help further their studies. The government and ethnic communities can provide scholarships for you to further your knowledge regarding their language and way of life.
- More career opportunities open their doors. As someone who knows such languages, the government will more likely choose you to work closely in the local’s communities and form a bond or working relationship. You can even think of yourself as an instrument for world peace.
- If you are working as a professional interpreter or a translator, this would definitely enhance your qualifications. Since the job is fewer and the competition is low, you will have greater chance of landing a big project.
- Of course, it’s because someone has to do it. Anyone who has genuine concern or interest in languages would find learning them part of their life goals. At least there is someone aside from natives who are trying to let the world know about such languages.
The National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) recognizes those who take steps in not letting these languages go to waste or left unheard of. With people who are teaching and studying them, more cultures will be acknowledged and fewer languages will die.