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Volume is no guarantee

Languages die every day. Many die because there is nobody left to speak them. Others die in effect, because they can no longer help those who speak them make sense of the world. If you are a typical reader of this paper, you will think you have nothing to do with such an unfortunate language. Don’t be so sure. A recent feature in this paper (“Mind your languages”, March 10) looked at India’s most endangered languages. It explained where they are, how few speakers they have left, why that is so, and what is being done to keep them alive. Unesco says there are 198 ...