Disappointing news for all those 30-something people who grew up with the phenomenal Veronica Praatwaaier and learned that linguistic diversity can actually be fun: but many languages are becoming extinct. Maybe not all of them but the smaller ones don’t stand a chance in our globalized future. This linguistic extinction is happening faster than the extinction of flora and fauna. The first to go are the indigenous languages: while the 80 major languages such as English, Russian and Mandarin are spoken by about 80 per cent of the global population, the 3,500 linguistic minnows have just 0.2 per cent of the world keeping them alive (Independent). Most of these very small languages are also very complicated and illogical. For instance the Nivkh people of eastern Siberia have twenty-six different ways of counting, depending on the things they are counting: skis or boats or batches of dried fish. That’s not going to win you the war, as we say in Holland.
So should we be sad to lose at least 40% of all languages? History teaches us that languages come and go (figure). And there is one big advantage in reducing the amount of languages: it increases the chance that people can communicate in a reciprocal understandable language. And that will contribute to the higher goal of the Veronica Praatwaaier: love, peace and understanding! However without the fun of hopeless imitations of each other sexually tainted folkloristic cursing and swearing. Luckily we still have The Alternative Dictionaries. Chau you Azerbaijani ganjykh!