Irish Gaelic, Rapa Nui And More Endangered Languages From Around The World

Mariano Kamp, Flickr

There are nearly 7,000 languages spoken throughout the world today, the majority of which are predicted to become extinct by the end of this century. Half the world’s population speaks the top 20 world languages – with Mandarin, Spanish and English leading the charge, in that order – and most linguists point to globalization as the main cause for the rapid pace languages are falling off the map.

The problem is, when a language dies so does much of the knowledge and traditions that were passed won using it. So when Mental Floss used data from the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity to post a list of several at-risk languages, we here at Gadling were saddened by the disappearing native tongues and decided to use data from the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity to highlight some in our own list.

Irish Gaelic: Despite the fact that the government requires Irish students to learn this language and it currently has an estimated 40,000 native speakers, it is still classified as vulnerable.

Rapa Nui: The mother tongue of Chile’s famous Easter Island has fewer than 4,000 native speakers, and is quickly being taken over by Spanish.

Seneca: Only approximately 100 people in three Native American reservation communities in the United States speak this language, with the youngest speaker in his 50s.Yaw: Most young people living in the Gangaw District of Burma understand but do not speak this critically endangered language that has less than 10,000 native speakers.

Kariyarra: Although there are many people who have a passive understanding of this aboriginal language, only two fluent Kariyarra speakers are left in Western Australia.

Francoprovençal: There are only about 130,000 native speakers of this language, mostly in secluded towns in east-central France, western Switzerland and the Italian Aosta Valley.

Yagan: This indigenous language of Chile purportedly has only one remaining native speaker. Others are familiar with the language, but it will likely disappear soon.

Patuá: Derived from Malay, Sinhalese, Cantonese and Portuguese, less than 50 people in Macau, China and their diaspora speak this language. It is now the object of folkloric interest amongst those who still speak it.

Rape Fears Plague Indian Tourism

Several countries have updated their travel advisories to warn tourists of the threat of sexual assault when traveling to India. The South Asian country has made headlines in recent weeks and months following a spate of rape cases involving travelers and locals alike.

In the most recent incident, a 25-year-old British woman threw herself off her hotel balcony to escape a sexual assault. The woman was sleeping in a hotel in the tourist city of Agra, when the owner of the hotel burst into her room in the middle of the night demanding a massage before trying to assault her. The terrified woman jumped from her first floor balcony, and is now in the hospital suffering two broken legs and head injuries.This latest attack comes on the back of the vicious gang rape of a Swiss woman last Friday. The 39-year-old was camping in the temple town of Orchha with her husband when a gang of men arrived, armed with sticks. The men beat up the husband before tying the woman to a tree and attacking her. According to police, the woman said she was raped by up to seven or eight men.

But it’s not just travelers who face the threat of being molested in the subcontinent. Three months ago, a 23-year-old Indian medical student was killed after five men raped her on a bus before throwing her from the moving vehicle in the Indian capital, New Dehli. The deadly attack sent shockwaves across the country, spurring protests and a call for tougher laws against sexual assault.

However, any changes are too little too late for the country’s tourism industry, which is bracing itself for the fallout. Both the UK and Switzerland have issued travel advisories warning about the rise in sexually motivated crimes across the country.

What do you think? Would you still visit India despite the latest attacks?

[Photo credit: Flickr user McKay Savage]

New High-Speed Rail Service From The UK To The Alps

ski trainWhether you’re a ski fanatic or simply a lover of natural beauty, the Swiss Alps are a destination on many people’s bucket lists. Now there’s a new way to get there.

A new partnership between Eurostar and Lyria, a high-speed Swiss train operator, brings us a day-long journey from London to Switzerland offered every Saturday from December 22 to April 13. The train zips along at over 300 kilometers per hour, making the trip a quick and simple daylong affair.

Stop at Aigle, Martigny, Visp and Brig or change trains in Lille to access the resort towns of Verbier, Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Villars and many others. The French resort towns of Chamonix and Portes du Soleil.
are also accessible.

The journey is even fairly affordable … just £189 in standard, and first class on Lyria from £299. Thanks to A Luxury Travel Blog for alerting us!

[Image credit: Eurostar]

Photo Of The Day: Fall Fair In Basel

Photo of the day - fall festival Basel
This year, we at Gadling have made a pledge to ban a certain phrase from our posts, one that refers to a particular activity that happens (often in New England) around October, when tourists drive around to photograph trees. Still, it’s hard to resist a good autumnal photo of flora. Today’s Photo of the Day does a great job of capturing the mood of the season without a single bit of foliage in sight. Taken by Flickr user Jason Rodman (his second POTD this week, nice!) in Basel, Switzerland, the image depicts a much-loved activity of the yearly fall fair. The people flying above him along with the flags even remind us of the annual shedding of organic material. Who’s ready for a hot gluhwein? This year’s Herbstmesse takes place October 27-November 12.

Send us your favorite seasonal travel photos for another Photo of the Day. Add them to the Gadling Flickr pool and be sure that we can download!

The World’s Most Recommended Country To Visit

most recommended countryThe world’s most recommended country to visit is Canada, says a study measuring public perceptions of countries around the world. The ranking is a component of the best overall country reputation that also considers employment, living conditions, investment potential and more.

Beating out Australia, Sweden and Switzerland for the second year in a row for the number one spot, Canada is one of 50 nations that will directly contribute to the $2 trillion tourism industry in 2012.

The annual RepTrak study was conducted by the Reputation Institute, a consultancy that measures the trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards 50 countries, by polling an online panel of 36,000 people representing the G8 countries.


“Beyond maintaining its top position, Canada has also improved its score by more than three points. Normally we don’t see such a large increase in a score from a top 10 country but Canada now stands head and shoulders above the other leading countries,” said Nicolas Georges Trad, Executive Partner, Reputation Institute in a statement.

Rounding out the top ten countries with the best reputations were Norway, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands, all known for their stability, solid democracies, high GDP and strong social infrastructures.

The United States came in at number 23 but the study concluded that with a strong 5-10 point increase in the last four years, the reputation of the USA is trending towards more positive perceptions.



[Flickr photo by beaumontpete]