How Often Do Languages Die?

According to National Geographic magazine, another language dies every 14 days. There are about 7,000 languages currently spoken on Earth, and it is estimated that half of them will die by 2100. Geographic areas in which languages are at most risk include central and eastern Siberia, northern Australia and central South America.

More about languages:

  • There are two main factors for why languages die. If one language is perceived as being superior to another, people will use the superior language for the sake of social advantages. They also will teach their children the socially dominant language. The other factor is the incorporation of words from one language into another. After numerous substitutions and inclusions become established in everyday speech and writing, the original language often dies.

  • About 78% of the earth's inhabitants speak one of the 85 most predominant languages.

  • It is possible for a language that is spoken primarily in a small community to become extinct after a natural disaster kills all or most of its speakers.

More Info:

Discussion Comments


Is the English language the most used and important?


Yes, it is true, languages die because people are riveted to television. But proper use of language distinguishes smarter people from others, well-meaning ones, but who are unable to express themselves properly.


I am from Serbia. It is the former Yugoslavia and it was five nations (Serbia, Croatia, Crna Gora (Montenegro), Slovenia, BiH). We speak the serbo-croatian language. What kind of language we will have in Europe? I can speak English and like the English language.

Post your comments
Forgot password?