According to statistics from Ethnologue, there are 7,099 languages spoken worldwide. This number could be more now that languages in remote areas have not been reached. Besides, there are translation agencies that provide translation services for rare languages. Cannot be doubted that someday they will become extinct as their use is not too dominant.
In Europe, there are about 200 languages spoken by the entire population, while Asia has +2000 languages, with 832 languages found alone in the Papua New Guinea area. Some of these languages are included as uncommon languages to learn, so the younger generation prefers to use languages that are more familiar in their interactions.
The world’s least spoken language is a more worrying phenomenon since there are only one to two speakers. The Atlas of World Language of UNESCO states that there are 64 languages that are threatened with extinction. To preserve it, it takes more effort and involves many parties. Moreover, the following rare languages also require extra attention before they are completely extinct without any documentation.
It is a branch of larger Benue (Congo) languages and identified as one of Mambiloid languages. This is already extinct in Cameroon as the speaker was born in the 1940s. Therefore, it is used to realize secret conversation and Anthropologists state that there is no chance to survive.
Brazil natives are the main speakers of this language and they also named it Kaixana. This Arakawan language is spoken along the Japura River. In 2017, UNESCO Atlas states that it is not on the list as an extinct language, however, it is a totally different fact according to Ethnologue in the same year. They state that it is no longer a living language.
There is no solid report regarding the number of speakers. The fact is, only 2 to 24 speakers use the language. In Australia, some schools are trying to reintroduce to students as Aborigines take an essential role in terms of history.
Liki or Moar is spoken in Papua region, especially in Sarmi Sub-District. It is influenced by several languages around the area such as Austronesian. It was the most spoken language, even used by the indigenous church officials. Nowadays, among the 320 population, only 11 speakers still use this language.
It is used by the Tsuu T’ina tribe who live in Calgary, Canada. This language relates to Navajo in which tribes of the southern part of the United States turn it on as a daily communication tool. There is no writing system and written record to learn, but the data states that 170 speakers were found in 2011.
This one is a part of Numic which is categorized as the Uto-Aztecan language. The speakers come from the U.S and the area around until Colorado. The documentation by linguist Margaret L. Press in the 1970s states that fluent speakers are still found. Later, Ironbound Films produced a documentary in 2008 and the number of fluent speakers was drastically reduced, remaining only three people. Fortunately, it has a writing system as the foundation to create the dictionary. Siwavaats Junior College helped to revive it through a program.
This refers to the traditional language in Peru. Nowadays, there are only two speakers who use it. Younger generation cannot speak this language as they prefer to communicate through Spanish. Fortunately, the previous speakers developed a dictionary to preserve.
It is the world’s least spoken language and can be found in Nepal, especially around Rava and Tap rivers, Khotang District. It has several alternative names. According to the data, there are only 7 speakers who use this Kiranti branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family. Complex written documentations are available, so hopefully the younger generation will know their precious culture.
Southwestern Ethiopian, especially in a village at the west bank of Weyt’o River, is the speaker of this language. Through a 2012 report by UNESCO, the remaining users were 12 people. It has the chance to be preserved as the professor from Addis Ababa University is trying to study the language.
This refers to Solomon Islands language in which the users come from several areas. Nowadays, the population uses Teanu and Pijin language as their communication tool. Although it is considered as a living language, its status is nearly extinct. Only one speaker who is identified, named as Lainol Nalo.
The Vanuatu population use this language daily. The closest neighbor is Australia and it influences the dialects. Today, there are only two speakers remaining as the population prefers to speak by using Vera’s or Mwotlap or both.
It was the primary language in Peru, especially around the Loreto region. The numbering system of this language is unique as the user involves their toes when the number is more than 10. It seems that Taushiro cannot be preserved due to the isolated area and the remaining speaker being only one among 20 people.
This one can be found around Nebraska and north central Oklahoma in which the dialect is influenced by Native American Indian. The speakers today are only 10 and they are elderly and Chiefs of the Pawnee tribe. It has the uniqueness as the pronunciation is similar to English, while the vowel is similar to French, according to the long sound. To deliver different meanings, the speakers have to raise and lower the tone. To add, each word has 10 syllables. On the contrary, younger generations prefer to speak English as their mother tongue.
Friulian and Piraha are the other languages that are nearly extinct. They are non-Asia languages. In addition, languages in isolated areas from America and Russia are quite diverse, but not balanced by the chance to preserve it. As a result, apart from being threatened with extinction, its name is also unknown.
Language is made by a complex system and it shows how great our ancestors are. Although it is no longer used due to the globalization era, preserving it through various programs will never go wrong. Language is a cultural identity, so it can be a valuable treasure that needs to be taught to the younger generation.