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Half of the world’s languages will disappear by the end of the century

Half of the world’s languages will disappear by the end of the century

About half of the 6,000 languages that are spoken around the world today will disappear by the end of the century, according to UNESCO estimates.

This map shows the primary location of the world’s endangered languages. The U.S. has dozens of endangered languages, mostly clustered along the West coast and reservations of indigenous people in the Midwest and West. Australia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon rainforest are also home to many of the world’s most endangered languages.

According to UNESCO figures, 96 percent of the languages in existence today are together spoken by only 3 percent of the world’s population.

Ana Swanson | December 1, 2014 at 10:11 am
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