Endangered Languages of India

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Before starting about the Endangered Languages of India Firstly, we will start with a quote:-

I speak my favourite language because that’s who I am.
We teach our children our favourite language
because we want them to know who they are.

Christine Johnson

When does a language become endangered?

A language is endangered when it is on a path toward extinction. Without adequate documentation, a language that is extinct can never be revived.

A language is in danger when its speakers cease to use it, use it in an increasingly reduced number of communicative domains, and cease to pass it on from one generation to the next. That is, there are no new speakers, adults or children.

About 97% of the world’s people speak about 4% of the world’s languages; and conversely, about 96% of the world’s languages are spoken by about 3% of the world’s people (Bernard 1996: 142).

Most of the world’s language heterogeneity, then, is under the stewardship of a very small number of people.

A language that is on the verge of extinction is said to be endangered. Any language that is spoken by fewer than 10,000 people is deemed to be “possibly endangered” by UNESCO. Not all languages that could be threatened face an urgent extinction threat. 

Endangered Languages of India
UNESCO Criteria of Language Endangerment

Strategies for Language Protection :

a. Language Revival: re-introducing a language that has been in limited use for some time, such as Hebrew after the creation of the state of Israel, or Gaelic in Ireland.
b. Language Fortification: increasing the presence of the non-dominant language to counterbalance a perceived linguistic threat of a dominant language, such as Welsh.
c. Language Maintenance: supporting the stable use, in speaking and in writing (where orthographies exist), of the non-dominant language in a region or state.

UPSC Question on Languages

UPSC Question on endangered Languages of India
UPSC Question on Languages

Some Endangered Languages in India

Wadari, Kolhati, Golla, and Gisari are a few of the nomadic languages from Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana.

Eleven languages or dialects from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen, and Takahanyilang), seven from Manipur (Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum, and Tarao), and four from Himachal Pradesh (Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi)are among those that are in danger.

Manda, Parji, and Pengo (Odisha), Koraga and Kuruba (Karnataka), Gadaba and Naiki (Andhra Pradesh), Kota and Toda (Tamil Nadu), Mra and Na (Arunachal Pradesh), Tai Nora and Tai Rong (Assam), Bangani (Uttarakhand), and Birhor are the other languages in this category.

Halbi (also Bastari, Halba, Halvas, Halabi, Halvi) is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language, transitional between Odia and Marathi.

Kui( is a South-Eastern Dravidian language. It is most prevalent in Odisha and written in the Odia script.

Read about a Tribal Pilgrimage Mangarh Dham from here

UNESCO Language Atlas

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