March 02, 2009

India's Endangered Languages

196 Indian languages are in danger of extinction, according to UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger of Disappearing. Ahom, Aimol, Andro, Chairel, Kolhreng, Rangkas, Sengmai, Tarao, Tolcha are some the languages that are already extinct, according to a report in Outlook, which also provides a map showing the regional distribution of the threatened languages. Essentially, they are clustered on the margins of the Hindi heartland - the mountain regions where Tibeto-Burman languages are spoken,the tribal regions of central and south India, the North-East and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. You can find another report here, and the Atlas itself is available online here.