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Death of Another Kind

February 20, 2010

“There’s a consensus [among linguists] that we are seeing an unprecedented pace of language extinction. And it is accelerating,” says David Harrison, a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and co-founder of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. Of the world’s roughly 7,000 spoken languages, over half are spoken by only 0.2% of all the people on earth. Nearly 80% of the world’s population speaks just 83 languages, a proportion that is growing as globalization and urbanization encourage migrants and rural outliers to learn the dominant tongue in lieu of their own. Every 14 days, estimates Harrison’s institute, a language dies.

Are we getting to the people who don’t know Jesus in time???

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