The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project  The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project

Endangered Languages

Languages are always changing but in many cases the life of a language ends. In many areas of the world, economic, military, social and other pressures are causing communities to stop speaking their traditional languages, and turn to other, typically more dominant, languages. This can be a social, cultural and scientific disaster because languages express the unique knowledge, history and worldview of their communities; and each language is a specially evolved variation of the human capacity for communication.

Today, there are about 6,500 languages and at least half of those are under threat of extinction within 50 to 100 years. Responses to this problem include local language maintenance and revival programmes, and language documentation. See our projects page for information about the documentation projects supported by ELDP, the granting component of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.