Endangered languages: which country has the most?

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Languages are central to human survival and have been there since the beginning of the human race. Some were very popular at the time and have seemingly gone extinct after several years of dominance. Languages such as Greek, Aramaic and Latin which were primarily used in the ancient civilization still exist today but some have with time seen the number of speakers decline drastically. So many languages have been considered endangered languages as a result.

There are 7,000 languages which are said to be existing in the world presently but nearly half (3000) of that is in the pool of endangered languages. But what is even an endangered language? If that is shocking, wait for more as Ethnologue puts it even further at 3045 and the National Geographic even reports that a language disappears from Earth every 14 days.

According to the Linguistic Society of America, endangered languages are languages that are likely to become extinct in the near future. And some other quarters consider a language endangered when there are less than 10,000 speakers of that language. This latter consideration puts languages such as Latin and Khanty (Hanti) at risk of going extinct. The UNESCO Atlas of World Languages in Danger mentions 1078 from its database of 8324 languages worldwide to have less than 1,000 speakers. It also lists 2698 as endangered, 1163 as potentially vulnerable, 462 as severely endangered and 383 as critically endangered. So which countries have the most endangered languages?

Over time, the numbers change as there are efforts to revive some of the languages marked to be endangered. Regardless, the numbers still remain high in some countries and others have at least 100 languages marked as endangered.

India: With a population of over 1.4 billion people as of 2021 (estimates) and 398 languages, India has 387 living languages and 11 extinct languages. Of the living, the country has the highest number of endangered languages with more than half, 197. The government has responded by mapping out measures to preserve 117 of those languages.

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