While a language barrier can sometimes be one of the most frustrating things to frequent travellers, a diversity in languages is also a huge source of cultural richness and depth, with the twists and turns of native phrases and words revealing a wealth of information about the people who speak it.
As the world grows smaller, there can be unexpected downsides. One of these is the fact that Unesco estimates that approximately 2500 languages are on the brink of extinction. The international agency has warned that, at the current rate, by the end of this century 50% of all languages spoken today could be completely extinct.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. GoCompare have mapped out 25 of the world’s endangered languages in an effort to highlight their value and diversity. On each of the countries, they’ve recorded a native speaker saying the phrase ‘A different language is a different vision of life’.
Even with these threatened languages however, there are bright spots. One inclusion is one of Australia’s indigenous languages, Wiradjuri. Out of the country’s original 250 different types, now only 40 remain. However, Wiradjuri is undergoing somewhat of a revival now and is being taught in more and more schools.
Another example is Irish. After nearly three centuries in decline, there is a growing interest in the language, particularly in urban areas, and the most recent census showing nearly 1.8 million people have some ability to speak the language and nearly 10% of the population use it on a daily or weekly basis.
If you’re having trouble exploring the map above, click here.