12 most surprising European languages ​​that are at risk of extinction

21 Sep 12 most surprising European languages ​​that are at risk of extinction

Recent research reveals that 43% of languages ​​spoken in the world today will likely disappear in this century, including common languages ​​spoken in and around the British Isles.

To mark the European Day of Languages, the experts at award-winning language learning app Busuu have identified the 12 most surprising European languages ​​that are at risk of going extinct.

The European Day of Languages ​​is annually celebrated on the 26th of September and its aim is to encourage language learning across Europe.

Sadly, out of the approximately 6,000 languages ​​that are currently spoken worldwide, a lot of them are likely to disappear as a result of globalization.

Among those at risk are less common UK languages ​​– Cornish, Manx, Guernsey French, and Jersey French, but what’s surprising is that Irish, Welsh and Scots also make the list.

The languages ​​are divided into six groups based on how vulnerable they are and the level of risk is assessed by how likely the older generations will pass the language on to younger generations.

A spokesperson from Busuu said: “We are losing a significant part of our heritage and cultural diversity as languages ​​become extinct.

“We want to encourage everyone to keep these languages ​​alive for as long as possible, or to simply hear and enjoy them before it’s too late.

“The European Day of Languages ​​is a great way to celebrate the Linguistic diversity and bring awareness to the importance of preserving languages ​​through different initiatives and events.”

Here is Busuu’s list of endangered European languages:

Manx – Critically endangered. Manx is a Celtic language spoken on the Isle of Man with about 2,000 speakers.
Cornish – Critically endangered. Cornish is spoken in Cornwall and it has approximately 8,000-13,000 speakers.
Jersey French – Severely endangered. It is the traditional language of the island of Jersey and it has about 2,000 speakers.
Guernsey French – Severely endangered. It is spoken on the Islands of Guernsey and there are about 1,300-1,400 speakers.
Swiss German – Severely endangered. It’s estimated that there are 4,930,000 people speaking Swiss German in Switzerland, but they’re mainly older generations.
Irish – Definitely endangered. There are 77,185 Irish speakers but there’s a steady incline in these numbers because of the dominance of the English language.
Pontic Greek – Definitely endangered. Pontic Greek is spoken mainly in northern Greece by about 200,000 people.
Welsh – Vulnerable. Although there are about 750,000 people speaking Welsh, it is still considered a vulnerable language because of English being the predominant language in Wales.
West Flemish – Vulnerable. West Flemish is spoken by about a million people in the Western region of Belgium and the neighboring areas of France and the Netherlands.
Scots – Vulnerable. Scots is spoken in the Lowlands of Scotland by about 1,500,000 people, but similar to Irish and Welsh, it’s at risk because it doesn’t get passed on to younger people who mainly use English.
Belarusian – Vulnerable. Despite being spoken by around four million people, Belarusian is classified as vulnerable because most Belarusians speak Russian at home.
Eastern Slovak – Vulnerable. It is spoken in the east of Slovakia, but the number of speakers is unknown.

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