There are about 6,800 mutually unintelligible languages spoken in the world today. Since the beginning of Homo Sapiens, new languages have been constantly emerging while others vanish forever. This is why many linguists say that the total number of actual languages spoken in the world at a given time of human history is but an fragment of the infinite total of possible human languages.

It might seem as though the death of one language is not a particularly serious event but, in fact, each loss is a terrible tragedy. A language is a repository of riches containing highly specialized cultural experiences. When a language is lost, all of us lose the knowledge contained in that language's words and grammar, knowledge that can never be recovered if the language has not been studied or recorded.

Remembering that plants speak a language too and that their contributions offer alternative ways of viewing our existence and interconnectedness to all living things. Not all of this knowledge is of immediate practical benefit, of course, but all of it is vital in teaching us different ways of thinking about life, of approaching our day-to-day existence on planet earth.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/28/2007 - 19:20