Lost & Found Sound: Losing Languages As part of NPR's year-long collaboration with independent producers, NPR's Dean Olsher tells us about the increasing common extinction of the world's languages. Fifty percent of the world's languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. Some languages are spoken by just a handful of people. In a century, 95-percent of the language that exists today will be gone -- the result of the commercial and technical advantages of Chinese, English, French and a few others. Linguists are split on whether extraordinary efforts should be made to SAVE languages, versus allowing them to die naturally.