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These 33 European languages are all in danger of going extinct

Four British languages are among 33 featured on a new "endangered" list.


Nigel Farage

  • Saying 'hello' in some of the endangered languages

Manx and Cornish are listed as "critically endangered" by Christopher Moseley at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, while Jersey French and Guernsey French are "severely endangered".

The report, based on data from the 1993 Unesco Languages in Danger project, was released by GoEuro, which promotes a linguistic type of ethical tourism.

Despite the rankings of the four British languages, Dr Moseley said Manx and Cornish actually had the better chance of a revival.

"It was an uphill battle because Manx had reached the point where the last first-language speaker died in 1974," he said.

"Since then they’ve been running classes and they have a school. Both that and Cornish are being revived in an organised way. Education is the most important thing."


Critically endangered European languages (number of speakers)

Gottscheerisch, Kočevje in Slovenia (unknown)

Ter Sami, Lviv in Russia (6-11)

Karaim, Galicia in Ukraine (6)

Pite Sami, Arjeplog County in Sweden (fewer than 10)

Ume Sami, Arvidsjaur County in Sweden (fewer than 10)

Votic, West of St Petersburg in Russia (20)

Gagauz, Deliorman in Bulgaria (100)

Töitschu, Issime in Italy (200)

Cappadocian, Kavala in Greece (300)

Tsakonian, Leonidio in Greece (300)

Cornish, Cornwall (574)

Manx, Isle of Man, UK Crown Dependency (The last first-language speaker died in 1974)

Livonian, Courland in Latvia (The last first-language speaker died in 2013)

Severely endangered European languages (number of speakers)

Champenois, Champagne in France (unknown)

Skolt Sami, Lapland in Finland (300)

Istro-Romanian, Mount Ucka in Croatia (300)

Gardiol, Calabria in Italy (340)

Inari Sami, Lapland in Finland (400)

South Sami, Vilhelmia in Norway/Sweden (500)

Kildin Sami, Umba in Russia (787)

Saterlandic, Lower Saxony in Germany (1,000)

Guernsey French, Guernsey, UK Crown Dependency (1,327)

Jersey French, Jersey, UK Crown Dependency (2,000)

Molise Croatian, Campobasso in Italy (around 3,000)

Franc-Comtou, Besancon in France (4,000)

North Frisian, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany (10,000)

Lorrain, La Gaume in Belgium (20,000)

Bourguignon, Bourgogne in France (50,000)

Breton, Lower Brittany in France (300,000)

Gallo, Upper Brittany in France (around 300,000)

Lemosin, Limousin in France (around 400,000)

Picard, Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France (around 600,000)

Auvergnat, Auvergne in France (around 1,315,000)


More: 19 maps from which we'll let you draw your own conclusions

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