Monday, March 28, 2011
World's Last Language To Go Extinct
When eighty-five year-old Boa Sr. died on January 10, 2010, she took with her the last of her native language of Aka Bo (also called Bo). Boa Sr was an Indian Great Andamanese elder in the Andaman Islands of India; she was also the only person of the roughly 52 remaining natives in her village who remembered any Bo, so when she died the language became the world's most recent language to go extinct.
Extinct languages are different than “Dead” languages because dead languages (like Latin and Sanskrit) are kept alive by scholars who study them. Extinct languages are permanently gone when the last native speaker dies. Though Aka Bo is the most recent language to disappear, it may not remain the world's last forever. It is estimated that half of the nearly six thousand languages spoken in the world will become extinct within the next 200 years.