Unesco's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

March 2009 -

The digital, interactive version of the Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger was launched February 19, 2009. It is compiled by thirty linguists and it contains updated data about the approximately 2500 endangered languages worldwide. The endangered languages are listed according to five different levels: 'unsafe', 'definitely endangered', 'severely endangered', 'critically endangered' and 'extinct'.

Endangered languages can be found everywhere, in variable economic conditions. India, the USA, Brazil and Mexico have great linguistic diversity, but they also have the greatest number of endangered languages. In metropolitan France 26 languages are endangered. On the other hand, in Papua New Guinea, the country which has the greatest linguistic diversity on the planet, of the more than 800 languages that are spoken there, 'only' 88 seem to be disappearing.

The Atlas can be continually supplemented and corrected by its readers. The paper edition of the Atlas will be published in the coming months.