Tag Archives: biodiversity

links for 2009-02-26

  • Another collaboration with Google Maps, showing updated data about approximately 2,500 endangered languages around the world. Out of circa 6,000 existing languages, more than 200 have become extinct during the last three generations, 538 critically endangered, 502 severely endangered, 632 definitely endangered and 607 unsafe. The Atlas shows that 199 languages have fewer than ten speakers and 178 others have 10 to 50. Recently extinct include Manx (Isle of Man, 1974), Aasax (Tanzania, 1976), Ubykh (Turkey, 1992) and Eyak (Alaska, USA, 2008). UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura stressed, “The death of a language leads to the disappearance of many forms of intangible cultural heritage, especially the invaluable heritage of traditions and oral expressions of the community that spoke it – from poems and legends to proverbs and jokes. The loss of languages is also detrimental to humanity’s grasp of biodiversity, as they transmit much knowledge about the nature and the universe.”