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“10-20% of India’s languages are dying” What Valuable Information Is The World Losing In The Process?

In India, People Making A Difference, Science on May 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm
Linguist Gregory Anderson (right), a member of the Enduring Voices Project—a joint initiative of the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Oregon—works with Ganesh Murmu (middle), a linguist at Ranchi University in Indias Jharkhand State, to interview a woman (name withheld) from the Aka tribal group in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Linguist Gregory Anderson (right), a member of the Enduring Voices Project—a joint initiative of the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Oregon—works with Ganesh Murmu (middle), a linguist at Ranchi University in India's Jharkhand State, to interview a woman (name withheld) from the Aka tribal group in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

National Geographic: Experts believe that more than half of the world’s roughly 7,000 languages will vanish by the end of this century alone, at the rate of one language every two weeks. According to official estimates, India is home to at least 400 distinct tongues, but many experts believe the actual number is probably around 700.

The Enduring Voices Project—a joint initiative of the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Oregon is looking to change that. Enduring Voices works with local communities around the world to document and help prevent languages from becoming extinct.

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