By now, the world already knows about the extinction of yet another language and indigenous group. The last speaker of Bo, Boa Sr, died at the age of 85 last week, effectively muting the Bo tribe that had survived colonialism, massacre, and cultural imperialism.
Cultural Survival director Stephen Corry said that “the death of Boa Sr and the extinction of the Bo language, a unique part of human society, is now just a memory. Boa’s loss is a bleak reminder that we must not allow this to happen to the other tribes of the Andaman Islands.”
According to the Ethnologue, there are 473 languages that are nearly extinct. The majority of which are in the Americas and the Pacific, with Asia running a close third. The National Geographic channel however said that as much as one language per 14 days disappears from the face of the earth. NG channel added that
Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct. This occurs through official language policies or through the allure that the high prestige of speaking an imperial language can bring…As big languages spread, children whose parents speak a small language often grow up learning the dominant language. Depending on attitudes toward the ancestral language, those children or their children may never learn the smaller language, or they may forget it as it falls out of use. This has occurred throughout human history, but the rate of language disappearance has accelerated dramatically in recent years.
The last words of Boa Sr