With the progress of globalisation, cultures unify more and more. This is especially visible in customs and holidays but also impacts on languages – we learn the major ones, but forget about the ones that are spoken by a handful.
Why are indigenous languages so important?
As stated on the UN website “languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository of each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory.” This quote presents the micro- and macro-perspective on every single language spoken around the globe. There are roughly 7 thousand spoken languages and of these over 2.5 thousand endangered. We are standing on the verge of losing 5 thousand indigenous cultures spread over 90 countries – preserving the languages they speak is one of the ways to raise awareness and make a change.
What can be done?
The United Nations recognises the importance of indigenous languages in peacebuilding and good governance worldwide. The organisation wants to take several target steps to improve the quality of life of indigenous cultures, enhance international dialogue and cooperation as well as ensure linguistic continuity. There is a variety of events to attend and support the initiative of the UN (read more here: https://en.iyil2019.org/events/). The official global launch even will take place in Paris on 28 January.
The Endangered Languages Project
There is also an initiative known as the Endangered Languages. It is estimated that about 50% of languages may not survive till the 3rd millennium. Therefore, the platform supported by the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity was established for native speakers of indigenous and endangered languages as well as people passionate about the cause. It is possible to upload videos, documents and data on the language to share the experience and knowledge.
We are aware that language is an important means of expression and its use is unlimited. Since we cooperate with native speakers of target languages, we also know their value. Do not hesitate to contact us about projects requiring the assistance of a native speaker of an endangered or indigenous language. We are sure we can provide exactly what you need.