"As languages disappear, cultures die. The world becomes inherently a less interesting place, but we also sacrifice raw knowledge and the intellectual achievements of millennia." - Ken Hale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999
It’s been estimated that approximately 10,000 spoken languages have existed in human society. Today, only about 6,000 languages are still spoken, and many of these are not being taught to future generations. More than half of these languages are unlikely to survive the next century.
Language is an important part of our lives. It is much more than just a means of communication. It is also a part of our culture. Aspects of culture such as food, clothing, celebrations, customs, values, religion, history, and language are all shape the way people think, behave, and view our world. These aspects, including language, bond members of the group together and create a sense of belonging.
In Canada, March 31st takes place the National Aboriginal Languages Day. The concern for many Aboriginal communities on how to keep their languages alive is very real. In fact, this is a concern for us all. The survival of Aboriginal languages, cultures and histories are a responsibility for all Canadians.
Today is an opportunity for all of us to ask what can we do, to ensure that the legacy of Aboriginal languages, and cultures.
Top ten spoken Aboriginal Languages in Canada:
Check out below the Ministry of Aboriginal Affair's awesome National Aboriginal Languages Day campaign!