Are these languages extinct or still alive?February 11, 2023 2023-02-11 8:57
Are these languages extinct or still alive?
Are these languages extinct or still alive?
What does it mean to say something is truly extinct? It means that it leaves no sign of its existence behind, only its name. When we say a language is dead, we mean that it is no longer spoken with the same zeal as it once was. Language is made up of much more than just words, sounds, and letters! There are colorful cultures, interesting traditions, and individuals from all walks of life coming together to speak the same language hidden behind these mere words! This blog will tell you if these languages are extinct or still alive.
According to the National Geographic Society, one language dies every two weeks, ceasing to be actively spoken among the more than 7,000 languages spoken on our globe. That means that many languages are becoming extinct even as you read this. Isn’t it bizarre?
When asked, “Why do languages go out?” Political influence, globalization, imperialism, and a lack of preservation are all blamed.
For the majority of the twentieth century, governments around the world pushed indigenous peoples to adopt a standardized national language, forcing them to the margins—and, eventually, to the scrap heap of history.
Here are some of the wonderful languages that are on their way to extinction or death:
This is one of the languages that is almost certainly on its way out. Latin is written and studied but rarely spoken, earning it the moniker “extinct non-dead language!”
The language Latin was invented circa 700 BC in a small town called Palatine Hill. The native speakers were dubbed Romans after their founder and leader, Romulus. The language quickly spread across the Roman city like wildfire and was soon known to be spoken by everybody! However, because there was no central force to standardize Latin as the native language, it began to die as a common language. It did not perish, but rather evolved into a more simple language known as Vulgar Latin. Latin’s complexity and difficulty were two of the reasons for its evolution. With Latin folding into several forms, different parts of the country were unable to communicate with one another. By the end of the Sixth Century, Latin had gone as a language. However, due to the widespread use of Latin in medical nomenclature, taxonomy, and other scientific domains, it did not die extinct totally.
When was the last time you had a Sanskrit conversation? Apart from being the sacred dialect of the majority of Indian religions such as Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, it is not a widely spoken language in our daily lives. Despite the fact that languages have emerged from Sanskrit, it is not widely spoken language.
Nonetheless, it is an important part of Hindu scriptures such as the Ramayan and Mahabharat. Its demise is thought to be the result of colonization and partition. With the passage of time, its application has been limited to scriptures and religious ideas.
Greek in antiquity
The name implies that it is archaic jargon! The language dates back to the 1400s BC. A Linear B clay tablet discovered in Messenia is the earliest written evidence. Ancient Greek is an intellectual language that is critical to Western civilization. Many terms in modern scientific English are drawn from Ancient Greek. Historically, the bulk of Europeans communicated in Ancient Greek. Thus, Greek is not extinct, but it has died as a result of being supplanted by contemporary Greek.
Hebrew has been resurrected!
Hebrew was the official language of the Jews for over a thousand years until the Romans demolished their last temple in 70 CE. When Hadrian, the Roman emperor, evicted the last of the Hebrew-speaking Jews 65 years later, Hebrew died. Soon after, Aramaic became the common language of the people of the Middle East. Despite being employed as a written language, Hebrew was never spoken.
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda entered the picture years after its demise! Eliezer grew intrigued with Hebrew after being exposed to it by his school instructor. He made it his life aim after going to Israel to resurrect this long-dead language. He banned his wife from speaking in any language other than Hebrew and compelled their son to do the same. have solely spoken Hebrew, and established the Va’ad Halashon, or Hebrew Language Council. The Zionist Congress officially declared Hebrew the official language of Zionism after he died in 1904. The language spread across Israeli classrooms and families by trial and error, with each school becoming a Hebrew word-minting factory! That is how a language was resurrected!
Keeping Languages Alive
According to field linguist David Harrison, about 85% of languages have gone unrecorded. If these languages are to be preserved, they must be accompanied with written proof and documentation, such as books and dictionaries.
It is impossible to preserve a language without the assistance of the indigenous people who speak it. No language can ever fully die as long as they have pride in their culture and a desire to preserve it!
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