Category Archives: Endangered language

“Language is the only tool for expressing identity and culture as well as one of the greatest emblems of human diversity. There are 7,000 living languages in the world and around 3,000 are considered as ‘endangered’. This means that almost half of the planet’s current linguistic diversity is under threat.” – Abhijit Mohanty in “Seven decades after independence, many tribal languages in India face extinction threat” (Down to Earth, 26 August 2020)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/governance/seven-decades-after-independence-many-tribal-languages-in-india-face-extinction-threat-73071
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6879

“The country has already lost about 250 languages in the last 50 years. The state must recognise that a monolingual nationalistic model is not just robbing us of our linguistic richness, but also limiting the economic potential of the country. Diversity of language is not a burden on us. Rather, considering that even the most cutting-edge technologies are language-based, different languages spoken across the country have the potential to better build the country’s economic future.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (co-founder, People’s Linguistic Survey of India) quoted in “Need to preserve linguistic diversity, says expert” (The Times of India, 13 February 2014)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Need-to-preserve-linguistic-diversity-says-expert/articleshow/30300251.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14145

“Literacy level among women in India being alarmingly low, it will be necessary to expand our school education system so as to introduce and include as many languages as possible, so that the girl children are educated in their own languages. For this purpose, CIIL should take lead in studying and preparing materials in as many minority and tribal languages as possible. It should be a special endeavour of CIIL to promote and document the endangered languages of India, which are very much a part of India’s plural cultural heritage.” – Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages (Accessed 11 March 2021)
https://www.ciil.org/aboutAhead1.aspx
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6039

“According to the Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysuru, a language is ‘endangered’ when it has less than 10,000 speakers.” – Priti David (Editor, PARI Education) in “Think and go slowly. You will get gold” (People’s Archive of Rural India, 8 February 2018)
https://ruralindiaonline.org/en/articles/think-and-go-slowly-you-will-get-gold/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6338

“If our language is alive, only then will our culture thrive. Losing our language, we will lose our identity, our forests, rivers and mountains.” – Lado Sikaka (Dongria Kondh leader) quoted by Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/children-from-tribal-communities-are-being-corralled-into-mass-schools-that-are-wiping-out-cultures/article33818793.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21733

“It is almost impossible to characterize all of India’s tribals in a single ethnographic or historic framework. […] After Independence, these communities were ‘denotified’ and placed quite randomly in the schedules of tribes, castes and other ‘backward communities’. Yet anyone with any experience of tribal culture will find these listings mind-boggingly oversimplified. The most useful indicator of tribal identity, then, is language.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy in Painted Words: An Anthology of Tribal Literature (Vadodara: Purva Prakash, 2012)
https://www.worldcat.org/title/878631199
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22979

“[A]ccording to the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, as many as 780 different languages are spoken and 86 different scripts are used in the country. However, only 22 of them are recognized by the government as scheduled languages. […] India has lost nearly 250 languages in the last half century, and 196 more have been declared endangered by UNESCO. As many as 120 of these 196 languages are spoken in the North-East. With most of these languages spoken by tribes and lacking a script, it has been particularly difficult to preserve them.” – Osama Manzar in “Preserving our vanishing tribes, their heritage, language and wisdom” (Livemint, 8 September 2017)
https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/AhrviHfdlAluJ6ffBBpUQN/Preserving-our-vanishing-tribes-their-heritage-language-an.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6039

“Our intention is to protect, promote and educate the present youths on tribal languages. These unique languages are endangered with many people migrating to urban areas.” – T.T. Basavanagouda (Director, Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute) on support extended to members of the Hakki Pikki and Dungri Garasia communities whose mother tongues are on the verge of extinction, quoted in “Dictionaries on tribal lingo to be brought out by year-end” (The Times of India, 3 December 2014)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysuru/Dictionaries-on-tribal-lingo-to-be-brought-out-by-year-end/articleshow/45360898.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17105

“Kolami, Koya, Gondi, Kuvi, Kui, Yerukala, Savara, Parji, Kupia. Do these names ring a bell? No, right? They are all native tribal tongues that have immensely contributed to enrich the language and culture of Telugu people. But these languages are dying due to a plethora of reasons — lack of practice, absence of education, poverty-stricken state of the speakers. The UNESCO lists 191 languages of India as endangered. And as Eduardo Hughes Galeano, the literary giant of the Latin America puts it, ‘Every two weeks, a language dies. The world is diminished when it loses its human sayings, just as when it loses its diversity of plants and beasts.’ Numbers can be deceptive, India is a graveyard of more languages than one can imagine.” – Papri Paul in “The dying tongues of Telangana and Andhra” (Times of India, 21 February 2017)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/the-dying-tongues-of-telangana-and-andhra/articleshow/57253816.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22153

“Concluding his ambitious marathon Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) which took four years of field work preceded by nearly 15 years of conceptualization and planning, Prof Ganesh Devy, the Sahitya Akademi award winner, literary critic and founder of the Tribal Academy at Tejgadh declares that out of 1,600-odd languages listed in the 1961 survey of India, they have been able to trace not more than 850 languages during their survey. The survey was initiated by Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Centre founded by Prof Devy.” – Papri Paul in “The fight for survival: language and identity” (Times of India, 21 February 2017)
https://www.all-languages.org.uk/features/fight-survival-language-identity/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=30494

“We need all of that to survive”: Interview with Linda Young, artist and Traditional Knowledge Keeper – Canada

Source: “The Power of Healing”, Linda Young, artist and Traditional Knowledge Keeper for the Saskatchewan Public School Division in Canada, interviewed by Veronica Yates, Director of Child Rights International Network CRIN, in “The Power of Healing”, 15 January 2020URL: https://home.crin.org/readlistenwatch/stories/2020/5/6/the-power-of-healing

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Assimilation, Biodiversity, Childhood, Crafts and visual arts, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Health and nutrition, History, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Success story, Tips, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Women | Comments Off on “We need all of that to survive”: Interview with Linda Young, artist and Traditional Knowledge Keeper – Canada

Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)

India’s endangered languages “Kolami, Koya, Gondi, Kuvi, Kui, Yerukala, Savara, Parji, Kupia. Do these names ring a bell? No, right? They are all native tribal tongues that have immensely contributed to enrich the language and culture of Telugu people. But … Continue reading

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Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

When it comes to protein and calorie counts, milk and bananas do not match up to eggs, particularly for [Madhya Pradesh], where development indicators are among India’s worst: Almost 51% of children under five years of age are underweight, and … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Archaeology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Childhood, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Multi-lingual education, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Narmada, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Resources, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Tips, Tourism, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

Tip | “A need deeply felt by Adivasis”: Respect for native languages and knowledge systems linked to the land and forest

In Rayagada in Odisha, Kondh parents distinguish between dangar patha (mountain learning) and kagaj patha (paper learning). Asked which they prefer, many parents answer ‘both’. This expresses a need deeply felt by Adivasis: literacy, with fluency in the regional language … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Endangered language, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Tips, Trees, Tribal elders | Comments Off on Tip | “A need deeply felt by Adivasis”: Respect for native languages and knowledge systems linked to the land and forest

Survey of the living languages of India in present time (PLSI) – carried out by persons who belong to the respective speech communities or have worked closely with them

The People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) is a comprehensive survey of the living languages of India in present time. The first such survey since George Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India carried out between 1894 and 1928, the PLSI is being carried out … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Film, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Networking, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Performing arts, Poetry, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Revival of traditions, Santali language and literature, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Survey of the living languages of India in present time (PLSI) – carried out by persons who belong to the respective speech communities or have worked closely with them