endangered languages

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Of 7,000 indigenous languages spoken today, four in 10 are in danger of disappearing, rights experts said on Wednesday, in a call for a decade of action to reverse the “historic destruction” of age-old dialects.

News in Brief 21 February 2019

  • Papua violence and ‘snake’ interrogation condemned by human rights experts
  • ‘Bring decolonization to a successful conclusion’ UN Chief
  • Bengalis celebrate protection of their culture on International Mother Language Day
Audio -
3'20"

‘Language death’ a ‘symptom’ of struggle to save indigenous identity

As the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages begins, ancient mother-tongues under threat of extinction across the world, need to be seen as a “symptom” of a much wider struggle.  That’s the view of one leading linguistics professor in New York, Daniel Kaufman, founder of the non-profit Endangered Language Alliance.  In this edition of the Lid Is On podcast Mr. Kaufman speaks with UN News's Matt Wells.

Audio -
19'40"

“Cool” tech can keep endangered languages alive says Google exec

“Cool” technology can play an important role in keeping the world’s endangered languages from dying out.

That’s the hope of a senior software engineer from web giant Google, who’s been attending a conference on indigenous languages this week at UN headquarters.

Audio -