Idiomas en vías de extinción

Aborigen australiano
Image caption Un aborigen australiano tocando el instrumento autóctono "didgeridoo".

Disappearing languages

The United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, says more than a third of the world's six thousand languages are in danger of extinction. Of those two thousand, it says, about two hundred are spoken by only a handful of people.

Reporter: Leonardo Rocha

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When a language dies, UNESCO says the world loses valuable cultural heritage - a great deal of the legends, poems and the knowledge gathered by generations is simply lost. In 2008, Alaska's last native speaker of Eyak died, taking the language with her.

Marie Smith Jones praying in Eyak

Chief Marie Smith Jones, praying here for the survival of the Eyaks. She died at the age of eighty-nine, campaigning to save her people's heritage.

UNESCO says government action is needed if the world is to preserve its linguistic diversity. People must be proud to speak their language to ensure it survives.

In the last five years, the governments of Mexico, New Zealand and the United States managed to reverse the trend locally. But UNESCO says the phenomenon of dying languages appears in every region and in very diverse economic conditions. Leonardo Rocha, BBC

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UNESCO las siglas en inglés para la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura

valuable cultural heritage valioso patrimonio cultural

a great deal of una gran cantidad

legends leyendas

native speaker of una hablante nativa de

campaigning haciendo campaña

to preserve its linguistic diversity conservar su diversidad lingüistica

to reverse the trend revertir la tendencia, en este caso, alentar a la gente a hablar sus idiomas nativos