• Alysa Salzberg

A book of poetry in disappearing languages

Here’s a sobering fact: half of the languages currently spoken in the world will probably go extinct within the next hundred years.


This is due to many issues, including the limited use of languages with a small amount of speakers. That means that a person may speak their native language at home and in their community, but when doing things like researching or working online, for instance, they’re unlikely to find much content. Instead, they’ll have to use one of the 40 or so languages (out of an estimated 7000) with a significant web presence.


Lack of linguistic diversity also extends into popular culture, and, often, government communication, health-related information, and more.


One way to fight this, of course, is to provide more content for speakers of a language. That’s one of the goals of a recently published book. The book’s other goal is to expose non-speakers to these endangered, little-known languages.


Poems from the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry in Endangered Languages features poems in a number of extremely rare languages, with a translation in English on the opposite page. Interestingly, the anthology also includes information about each language and poem.


It’s a wonderful way for readers around the world to experience languages they may never have read or heard, and to preserve these languages in some small way.


Read on to learn more about Poems from the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry in Endangered Languages, as well as why languages go extinct. And if you’re interested in reading the book, you can find it through major online retailers, or ask your local bookstore or library about ordering a copy.




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