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Losing Languages
Produced by Dean Olsher and Art Silverman

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    The Tower of Babel The Tower of Babel
    Pieter Bruegel (about 1525-69)

    Courtesy Nicolas Pioch at the WebMuseum. metalab.unc.edu/wm/
    More than half of the world's languages are spoken by fewer than ten-thousand people. That means as many as 90 to 95 percent of the languages could be headed toward extinction in the next century.

    The languages which dominate are used in the media, and to make money. People often choose to let go of their language in favor of assimilation. NPR's Dean Olsher finds experts who are split on the issue: some want language to find their own course, others want to prop up our modern-day Hi-Rise of Babel.


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    Copyright 1999 The Kitchen Sisters