UN Works Programme on endangered languages

There has been a huge debate about Unesco’s report on disappearence of Punjabi language in next 50 years. I have been searching unsuccessfully on google to find original Unesco report to confirm this. What I have found so far is a link to endangered languages in India that mentions Sharda lipi (Kasmiri) as endangered.

Punjabi is not mentioned on this page as endangered, but I could not get hold of Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing which seems to include list of all endangered languages. Unesco site states that a new version will be out in 2008, I am looking forward to read it.

I heared some people commenting that Unesco has not authority on saying that Punjabi is endangered. Unesco has acutually deviced a framework to access language vitality and endangerment. Unesco programme includes all languages and an interesting but worrying fact is that one language disappeares every two weeks. Give the current attitude of native punjabi people toward punjabi it seems to be a real possibility in next 5 to 10 years. Most british born punjabis can speak punjabi, but can not read or write it. I will assume similar situation in Canada and US.

Its time to act. Now.

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