According to scientists, social media tools can help prevent the distinction of endangered languages. There are about 6,000 languages spoken worldwide, and it is thought that approximately half of them will be extinct within the next 100 years. One of the causes for their extinction is seen in globalisation, as it encourages speakers of rare languages to assimilate, to “abandon” their mother tongue and switch to more common, spoken languages.
However, some elements of today’s globalised world are said to work against this trend and could actually save these endangered languages. How? Speakers of rare languages use social media, like YouTube and Facebook “to expand their voice and expand their presence,” explained K David Harrison, an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College and a National Geographic Fellow. This is said to help speakers of less spoken languages to pass their language on to younger generations and as consequence to prevent the language’s extinction.