Fac­ing ex­tinc­tion

ChinAfrica - - Lifestyle -

In fact, Mu­lam isn’t the only lan­guage in China that faces ex­tinc­tion. Many of the 130-plus lan­guages of the 55 non-han eth­nic groups face the same prob­lem, ac­cord­ing to data from the Re­search Cen­ter for Pro­tect­ing the Lan­guage Re­sources of China.

The data show that 68 lan­guages have fewer than 10,000 speak­ers; 48 have no more than 5,000; and 25 have 1,000 at most. The lan­guages most at risk of ex­tinc­tion are Hezhen and Lhoba, each of which has fewer than 100 speak­ers.

“Lan­guage is the foun­da­tion and spirit of an eth­nic­ity’s cul­ture. To pre­serve cul­ture and his­tory, we must take nec­es­sary ac­tion to save those lan­guages in dan­ger,” said Ding Shiqing, Pro­fes­sor with the Minzu Univer­sity of China (MUC) and Vice Di­rec­tor of the Re­search Cen­ter for the Pro­tec­tion of Chi­nese Eth­nic Mi­nor­ity Lan­guages.

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