New Internationalist

Speaking out for a multilingual world

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.

June 2014, Issue 473

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Other ways to explore New Internationalist: Sample our past issuesBrowse by themeBuy this issue
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.
Voices under the ice
Musings and memories from poet Nora Marks Dauenhauer, who has dedicated her life to preserving the Tlingit language.
'They nicknamed me Terrorist'
After a century of oppression, is the Kurdish language finally gaining official recognition in Turkey? asks Naila Bozo.
Marni naa pudni Kaurna yarta-ana (Welcome to Kaurna country)
In the Adelaide plains, one Aboriginal language is enjoying an unlikely revival, explains Katrina Power.
Up and down
Winners and losers in the rollercoaster ride of language survival.
Of speech and species
The ongoing vitality of minority languages is a must if our planet is to survive, argues Suzanne Romaine.
From bins to bellies
Lydia James uncovers some novel ways to divert food from landfill.
Valerie's story
Anne Hoffman hears about the struggle for reproductive rights in Chile.
Jamaica seeks slavery reparations
Binning the plastic bag
France's wine rebel
Reintroducing Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Syria's electronic battlefield
Unlikely squatters in Spain
United States: weed-killing breast milk?
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be Cheerful
Argument: Are riots good for democracy?
Professor and author Stephen D'Arcy and historian and journalist Vijay Prashad go head to head.
Mark Engler
America after Piketty's charge.
Steve Parry
Corporate whore, moi?
Music reviews
Toumani & Sidiki by Toumani Diabete and Sidiki Diabete; La Tsadika by Mor Karbasi.
Film reviews
Jimmy's Hall, directed by Ken Loach; Of Horses and Men, directed and written by Benedikt Erlingsson.
Book reviews
I Am China by Xiaolu Guo; Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe; The Hunt for the Golden Mole by Richard Girling; The Secret World of Oil by Ken Silberstein.
Letter from Bangui
There is no easy getaway for the tens of thousands of internal refugees camping near the airport, says Ruby Diamonde.
Country Profile
And Finally
Award-winning novelist Xiaolu Guo talks to Graeme Green about literature, materialism and growing up in rural China.
Afghanistan's theatre of the oppressed
Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn talks to Lydia James about Afghanistan's Theatre of the Oppressed.