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How many of the World’s Languages are extinct? It’s a question that’s puzzled linguists for a while now and it’s a topic that is extremely important.
Languages that Indigenous people speak are being wiped out due to an expansion of global languages.
A research associate from Cambridge University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, has the answer. Mark Turin, is now recording audio clips of these languages and put them into a database so that they may be studied or listened to long after the last native speaker is gone.
The project also provides funds for local fieldworkers in countries including Malawi, India, Mongolia and Colombia to collect data and recordings about little-spoken languages. In the past, Turin says, major collections of recordings were lost because they weren’t deemed important. He sees the new site as a “safe haven” for fieldwork on languages that might otherwise be lost. “The vast majority of tapes are just kept in dusty boxes, but to put them on our database we digitise and hopefully future-proof them,” he adds.
Read more about the project here: Languages facing extinction.
Best wishes from the My-language team.