Sarikoli is part of the Pamiri dialect group. It is part of a group of endangered languages that is used by the highlanders of Tajikistan. Despite there being a few thousand speakers, there is no written form of this group of dialects, which deprives the distinct Sarikoli language of any chances of being passed down and retained. The numbers of S’aoch people were decimated under the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled from 1975 to 1979 and had a policy of executing any S’aoch who dared to speak in their native tongue. In 2010, only 10 elderly members of the S’aoch indigenous minority living in their village outside their traditional land still spoke this language.
Languages risk falling out of use when its speakers die out or change to speaking another language.