196 Indian languages endangered: UNESCO

India
August 30, 2009 5:21am CST
"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," says UNESCO Director-General Kochiro Matsuura. Source: http://www.rediff.com/news/2009/feb/20languages-are-in-peril-says-unesco.htm With 196 of its languages listed as endangered, India, a nation with great linguistic diversity, tops the UNESCO's list of countries having maximum number of dialects on the verge of extinction. India is closely followed by the US which stands to lose 192 languages and Indonesia, where 147 are in peril. I asked my friend "Isn't it sad?" He replied, "We cant do anything. So don't worry" I couldn't go with him. Atleast we can prevent languages from getting into extinction. A language can be saved, only if people talk it and if new literature's are written. So people belonging to the language that is slowly dying should write stories or folklore and public issues in their language. They know the sentiments of their people. They should write stories of their culture in their language, so that people will be willing to use that language. But its upto people of the respective languages to save their language. Recently one of my friend herein Mylot, started discussion about "Do you think your mother tongue (local language) is still precious?" I think very few peoples are caring their Mother tongue in this "Busy world" Whats your views on above facts dear friends? Raghul
6 people like this
10 responses
30 Aug 09
It is true that one should be familiar with their mother tongue -speak read write in that language .Only then can we prevent the languages frome becoming extinct.My mother tongue is telugu.We speak only in that language .But I am unable to read or write in that language.Earlier my parents were well versed in that language .So as you said we must aquaint ourselves with our mother tongue and help it to flourish .
2 people like this
• India
30 Aug 09
So sad that you are unable to read or write as you may live in that type of circumstances now. But one thing for sure, Telegu speaking people are still large in Amount and hope language is safe till now. For other languages like tulu, it must be taken care of the peoples who belong to the respsctive languages. Tulu is reviving its original script. At the turn of the 19th century,Tuluites had turned their original script into Kannda script. Now they wrote Tulu in Kannada. But they are trying to get back into original Tulu script! Happy Postings my Friend! Have a nice time!
1 person likes this
@hotsummer (10413)
• Philippines
30 Aug 09
how is it possible that language will ever be extinct as people use them always. and in US i don't think there are many dialects in US. there are many nationalities in US which is the reason why there are many languages there but i don't see any local dialect in the US so i don't think that english will be extinct as the are universal language. though people here in my country uses english a lot, it does not pose any threat for the extinction for our local dialects as people usually miss to use their own dialect after some time they are not able to use for example when they work in a foreign country where no one speaks the same dialect. i don't see any problem of language extinction ever in any place in my country.
1 person likes this
• India
30 Aug 09
Hi hotsummer. Yes its difficult for you people to understand about this language extinction since English is the language being spoken by majority of the people there. But in Asian countries like India, which has a history of more than 5000 years, there are too many languages being spoken by the people here for centuries and due to the ever changing culture and traditions, there are many languages that are in the list of becoming extinct. Dialect is different from what we are discussing here. It is about the languages we speak. Just refer WIKIPEDIA by typing Indian Languages or Languages spoken in India. You can understand better there than what I explain here. Have a great day and Happy Mylotting. Cheers:-)
1 person likes this
@hotsummer (10413)
• Philippines
30 Aug 09
so out of curiosity, what are then those languages in your country in India that are in the danger of extinction. do you happen to know some of them or able to speak a bit of some of them. and how they become of extinct or manner of being close to extinction. or maybe you mean that there are some few words being altered or changed or being replaced as days go by and that time will come that the original words will be all replaced in time by these new terms and words being introduced slowly. so i don't know how is it possible. but in my country our language is not in danger of being extinct. and it is being used widely and we still some deep words that are not commonly used.
• India
30 Aug 09
A hats off to vinslounge Wonderfully explained. Hi Hotsummer, This topic is never about dialect. Here in my country India, known for its culture, has peoples of so many classifications, speaking different languages inside the country itself. Honestly speaking, I knew very less information about all those languages. But sure, this topic is never about saying english will be down or vanished. English is an universal language and used by all peoples all over the world. India is a world inside a world. To be very frank, in an era of 'globalization' we can't expect every language to survive. As I told already, its upto people of the respective languages to save their language.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
30 Aug 09
The native american has lost alot of their culture after the whtemne got here taking them over to teach the white man ways. so very few still tell the stories and still fewer talk the tounge of out old ones!
1 person likes this
• India
31 Aug 09
That is really sad to hear! Hope it will change soon! Happy Postings!
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
1 Sep 09
yes very sad and it started way back in the 1700s so I dont think it will stop or change arounbd. Unless some of the kids get taught by the grandfatehrs
1 person likes this
• India
1 Sep 09
Hi dear, Don't worry at all.. Let us hope for the best that it doesn't continue the same anymore. Nowadays gradnma/grandpa stories, writing letters, etc, these habits are almost gone.. Dont know how the next generation will be in some more modernized world. Happy Postings to you!
@vinslounge (1297)
• India
30 Aug 09
Yes its definitely a sad thing that 196 Indian languages are in the list of extinction. This should not happen. India is a country which is well known for its rich diversity in languages and if some of the local languages become extinct, then it is really a sad instance that cannot be digested. Govenment has to take some measures to protect the local languages that are on the brim of extinction. Although there are more than 2000 languages being spoken in India( I guess this is the number but not sure) some proper measures have to be taken to protect them. In India some oldest languages according to our Knowledge are Tamil, Sanskrit, Pali and prakrit. Tamil is being recognised as a world language since it enjoys an offical status in India and moreover it is the official language in countries like SriLanka, Singapore and Seychells. It is also being recognised by most settlers in SouthAfrica, Philippines and in other countries. Sanskrit is being protected in India and is being considered as the Language of scholars. But Pali and prakrit holds no recognition and they are on the brink of extinction too. Whenever I hear from my own people that it is not necessary to follow Local Languages, I get irritated and feel like kicking them off. It is absolutely unfair to forget or Ignore your mother tounge. It is equivalent to deserting your own mother and go in pursuit of another lady. Hope people realise the importance of their Mother tongue and practise them. Learning foreign languages are vital and absolutely necessary. But at the same time, care has to be taken that our mother tounge too is being protected and practised. Have a great day and Happy Mylotting. Cheers:-)
• India
30 Aug 09
Hello my friend, First of all thank you very much for taking part in this discussion. Yeah.. as you said "Tamil" language has much popularity (adding Malaysia in your list) and I am from Tamilnadu too. I am happy to hear from you that you got irritated when our own people say that it is not necessary to follow Local Languages. This shows your sincerity and patriotism. I was also glad of the response which you gave above, thus reducing my work. Once again thanks for coming on to this discussion. You are only Indian who responded till now. I know, our peoples show less interest towards our country section. But I appreciate your participation and seriousness in the Discussion. Happy Postings! Have a nice time!
1 person likes this
• India
1 Sep 09
Thanks amn and nice to know that you too hail from TamilNadu. Yes, It is quite a sad thing that people in our country are now neglecting the mother tongue and are in pursuit of foreign languages. Hope the situation changes and people realise about the value of their mother tongue. Have a great day and happy Mylotting. Cheers:-)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
english is official language of singapore ... but singapore tamils are like malaysian tamil .. we use the language
• Malaysia
30 Aug 09
hi raghul i am 4th generation out of India and i still use Tamil , our whole family does ... my nieces are all studying in tamil schools ... again we are not in india
1 person likes this
• India
30 Aug 09
Wow.. That is a huge surprise news for me to know, as my mother tongue is Tamil. I would like to say a thanks to you for having interest towards Tamil language and following it still. I have no age to Appreciate you. But I am very much Happy!!! Thank you very much for this great Information dear sanjana aslam! Happy Postings! Have a nice time!
• India
1 Sep 09
very sad to hear that many languages are endangered. but as u said, onlt the respective peoples should take care of their languages. government has very little things to protect from extinction.
• India
1 Sep 09
Yes the Govenment has done very little to protect the native languages but Govenment is not to be blamed alone and even we take some social and moral responsibility. We must encourage the use of mother tounge among the native people aswell as encourage the learning of Foreign languages and only in that way we can save our Mother tongue. Have a great day and happy Mylotting. Cheers:-)
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
1 Sep 09
it is true that some languages are endangered ones. and perhaps it is our own doing. we are easily influenced by foreign culture and language and tend to ignore our own. we take pride in communicating in some foreign language as a sign of 'how modern we are' and shun our own languages as obsolete and out of fashion. we shun our own culture which spans over thousands of years and instead adopt cultures which are only a few hundred years old. this is how shallow we have become. my dear friend, the day we start taking pride in our culture, heritage and languages we will truly lead the path of progress and development. we cannot go far with 'borrowed' culture and languages.
• India
1 Sep 09
Well said. You are absolutely correct. We are very much easily influenced by the foreign languages and we think that we are a modern lot by communicating in Foreign languages. We have a rich tradition and values but unfortunately we are pawning them to the western culture and its influence which is definitely a sad sign. Hope people realise the importance of our native language and preserve them.
• India
12 Sep 09
This is the reason, there is strong ardor for Tamils to save their language. Tamil people can even read Tamil literature written 2000 years back without the help of any dictionary. So they have enought medical recordings and knowledge about their place and culture. Their language has an unmodified record of the world.
• India
11 Sep 09
Hello my friend raghul77ster Ji, It is very much disheatening to know all about this. You are very much right that we all must encourage at least our mother tongue, but to be very frank, niether my son nor his wife talk in their motehr tongue to my grand daughter, they talk in International language English. Next, everybody is depending on e-reading and conversation, which is mostly in english. Here at this myLot also we write in english only and do not have way to write and promote in any otehr language. But i still belief, if this has to happen, nothing can stop. May God bless You and have great time.
@Sreekala (22720)
• India
5 Sep 09
Hi dear, First of all thanks to mention about my discussion. From my discussion I gathered that many are valuing their mother tongue only small percentage of people are not bothering much and said that ‘let the language die if not in use’. I think the problem comes when people are dislocating their own place and used to speak the local language where they stay. I have seen here, many malayalee (people from Kerala) couples are talking in hindi with their kids and the kids can’t speak Malayalam at all. I don’t know what is behind in their mind by not teaching their mother tongue to their kids. In my personal opinion, we should respect our mother tongue and teach to our kids too. Let them learn many languages but don’t forget to teach mother tongue.