The World’s Rarest Languages

There are more than 6,500 languages spoken around the world today, but many of them have very few speakers. In fact, the majority are dying out as they become less and less necessary in the modern, connected world. To some of the communities that speak these languages it’s more than just communication. It’s about holding onto their past, their ancestors and their culture.

It’s a struggle for some though, as the world’s rarest languages are getting rarer and rarer all of the time.

10. Chamicruo

This language goes by other, similar names. It is spoken in Peru, but there are currently only half a dozen people who speak the language fluently. As all of these people are very old, it seems unlikely that this language will be around for much longer.

9. Dumi

Spoken in small areas of Nepal, there were only 8 registered speakers of this language in 2007, many of which were old. Several years later, it is fair to assume that those numbers have fallen even further.

8. Ongota

There are 6 registered speakers of this dying language that is spoken in parts of Ethiopia.

7. Liki

Spoken on a select few islands off the coast of Indonesia, a few years ago there were just 5 speakers of this language.

6. Tanema

This language is spoken in the Soloman Islands and it used to be significantly more widespread than it is today, with only a handful of people thought to still be able to speak the language.

5. Njerep

Once spoken in Cameroon, there are now just a few speakers of this language and all of them live in Nigeria. It has been replaced by a language that is similar, but with a different dialect.

4. Chemehuevi

This language is actually spoken in the United States, albeit by a very limited number of indigenous people. It has been said that there are just three speakers in total, but the census was performed a few years ago. These live next to the “kaiv” in Colorado, which is their word for “mountain”.

3. Lemerig

Spoken on the small island of Vanuatu, there are only two people left who speak this specific dialect of a language that is widespread throughout the region.

2. Kaixana

This language is spoken in a very small area of South America, and whilst there were once 200 speakers of it, there is now only 1.

Taushiro

Also with just one surviving speaker, this language, spoken near the Tigre River, is on its last legs and may soon go the way of thousands of other endangered languages before it.

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