BY Novieku Babatunde Adeola, 9:07am August 09, 2019,

6 indigenous African languages that are on the verge of extinction

84-year-old Katrina Esau is working hard to make sure that the language of her childhood outlives her_Photo: BBC

Have you ever thought about how life would be without indigenous languages?

Languages are a huge part of human culture and existence, hence, the downward spiral of a particular language is largely tantamount to the death of the culture.

With more than 7,000 living languages in the world, UNESCO predicts that more than half will be extinct by the end of the century. It recently stated that Africans as a whole speak a combined total of around 2,000 different languages, which roughly equates to about one-third of the entire world’s linguistic heritage.

Recent studies have shown a steady decline in the use of indigenous African languages, and there are fears that most African countries will soon speak English as a first, and perhaps the only language, leading to a loss of culture and identity.

Human rights experts have advised countries to “recognize, protect and promote indigenous languages through legislation, policies and other strategies in full cooperation with indigenous peoples.”

The advice comes as the world commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples today to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population

On the back of the above concerns, Face2face Africa shares 6 indigenous languages that may soon disappear if appropriate measures are not taken:

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 7, 2020


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