Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 1    May 2011

Five Colombian Indigenous Languages "Nearly Extinct"
Condensed by Native Village

Columbia: A recent study has label 5 indigenous Columbian languages as "nearly extinct." They are:

4 active and 50 passive speakers;
25 speakers;
 30 speakers
 3 speakers
1 speakers
19 Colombian languages are in “serious danger.
34  languages -- half of those spoken in Columbia -- have less than 1,000 speakers.

Columbia's Ministry of Culture says languages are the culture. They are the “result of a long history, a highly complex cultural creation, a symbolic system of cohesion and collective identity.”

The study was released in conjunction with the United Nation's International Mother Language Day. MLD was created by the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1999.

International Mother Language Day:
"... promote[s] the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world. Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue."

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