Many languages throughout Asia have become extinct over time. This happens when there are no ancestors fluent in the language to pass it on, and the language no longer has any speakers. We follow the timeline along which some Asian languages have fallen out of currency.
The core region of the Asian continent stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east, and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. About 90 milllion people live in Central Asia, which is almost two percent of Asia’s total population. The region has long been a strategic location because of its proximity to several great powers on the Eurasian landmass.
The world’s earliest civilisations developed in West Asia, with the Babylonian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other empires dominating the land at different periods in history. Today, the population of West Asia is over 300 million and the major languages are Arabic, Turkish and Persian.
As of 2007, more than 593 million people lived in Southeast Asia, more than a fifth of them (125 million) on the Indonesian island of Java. Each of the languages in this region has been influenced by cultural pressures from trade, immigration and historical colonisation. SOUTH ASIA Home to more than one-fifth of the world’s population, South Asia is the world’s most populous and densely populated region. It consists of more than 2,000 ethnic entities, with populations ranging from hundreds of millions to small tribal groups.
EAST ASIA More than 1.5 billion people – about 38 percent of the Asian continent – live in East Asia. That’s over one fifth of the total number of people on the planet.
A subregion of Asia, consisting of the Asian portion of Russia, North Asia is the area east of the Ural Mountains, the natural boundary between Europe and Asia. There are about 31 million Russians in North Asia, and indigenous Siberians are now a minority in the region due to the Russification process over the last three centuries.
Oceania is a region consisting of the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Oceania’s land surface forms 6.4 percent of the Earth although its inhabitants numbered only 31 million (0.5 percent) of the world’s population by the end of the second millennium.