Encouraging Bilingualism Can Preserve Extinction of Various Languages: Study

Encouraging Bilingualism Can Preserve Extinction of Various Languages: Study

In a latest study researchers from the University of Cambridge in England have found that global economic success and growth are responsible for extinction of languages. According to the researchers, almost 25% of 7,000 languages spoken around that world are endangered.

Dr. Tatsuya Amano, a zoologist at Cambridge and the study's lead author along with a team of researchers, arranged a 'criteria' from an international conservation organization. This criteria is typically used to for endangered species; researchers used this for calculating the extinction risk for 7,000 human languages of the world.

Amano said the Eyak language in Alaska, whose last speaker died in 2008, and Turkey's language Ubykh, whose last speaker died in 1992, are amongst those languages that have already become extinct.

By looking at the pace of language extinction, researchers found some core reasons behind it. They reported that with development of the economies, one language usually dominates a nation's political and educational sphere. They found that with this, people are forced to adopt that dominant language otherwise they will be at a risk of being left out economically and politically.

Researchers found that languages like English or Mandarin Chinese often usually dominate the upward mobility in business or education. They said dominant language and cultures provide assistance to other dependent cultures, which encourages the recipients to speak the dominant language as they are getting help from them.

Amano said, "We found that at the global scale, language speaker declines are strongly linked to economic growth -- that is, declines are particularly occurring in economically developed regions".

Regions like tropics and Himalayas particularly face the highest threat, say researchers. They said that these regions usually have numerous languages with very little population speaking them and also these areas are growing with the time.

Bilingualism is the only hope left that could lessen the risk of extinction of these languages, says Amano.

Researchers in previous studies have also found that kids who have command over two languages enjoy various advantages related to education, social interaction and cognition.

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