Endangered languages
June 2014
Issue: 
473

The world’s 7,000 languages are facing a decline more rapid than, and potentially as damaging as, the planet’s endangered species. With the last speakers of up to half of the world’s languages already alive today, linguists fear that within two centuries we could all be speaking one global tongue.
Yet language matters more than you might think. The languages we speak shape who we are and how we see the world, and are a conduit for and repository of our culture, traditions and faith.

Included in this issue

Languages - THE FACTS

A graphic guide to the world's many tongues.

Talking about a revolution

Jo Lateu explains why the world's minority languages matter for all of us - and why we should be fighting for their survival.

Are riots good for democracy?

Professor and author Stephen D’Arcy and historian and journalist Vijay Prashad go head to head.

Xiaolu: 'If you can't sell in China you are nothing'

The award-winning novelist and film director tells Graeme Green about growing up in rural China, freedom, censorship and...

Afghanistan's theatre of the oppressed

Lydia James reports on a courageous drama project, which is putting transitional justice centre stage in the war-torn country.

Letter from Bangui - held hostage to violence

Ruby Diamonde asks, what can be done to stem the inter-communal bloodshed that is traumatizing an entire generation?

Welcome to Kaurna country

In the Adelaide plains, one Aboriginal language is enjoying an unlikely revival, explains Katrina Power.

Fill bellies, not bins

Lydia James uncovers some novel ways to divert food from landfill.

‘How did our community survive this?’

The Missing Children’s project is investigating the deaths and disappearances of aboriginal students who died in church-run...

What the US made of Thomas Picketty

Mark Engler reports on reactions to a surprise best seller.

Big Tobacco takes a tumble in Senegal

Stephen Cockburn reports on how Dakar defied lobbyists to enact tough new anti-smoking legislation.

Spain's unlikely squatters

Evicted home owners are reclaiming empty properties from the banks, reports Koren Helbig.

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