Of the approximately 6,000 existing languages in the world, around 40% are at risk. More than 200 have become extinct during the last three generations, 538 are critically endangered, 502 severely endangered, 632 definitely endangered and 607 unsafe. Among the languages that have recently become extinct are Manx (Isle of Man), which died out in 1974; Aasax (Tanzania), which disappeared in 1976; Ubykh (Turkey), in 1992; and Eyak (Alaska, United States of America), in 2008. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where approximately 2,000 languages are spoken, it is very probable that at least 10% of them will disappear in the next hundred years. India, the United States, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, countries which have great linguistic diversity, are also those which have the greatest number of endangered languages. However, the situation is not universally alarming. Papua New Guinea, the country which has the greatest linguistic diversity on the planet—more than 800 languages are believed to be spoken there—also has relatively few endangered languages (88). Furthermore, thanks to favorable linguistic policies, there has been an increase in the number of speakers of several indigenous languages.
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