Afrikaans listed as ‘potentially vulnerable’ by UNESCO: AfriForum

Afrikaans listed as ‘potentially vulnerable’ by UNESCO: AfriForum

Lobby group AfriForum says the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed Afrikaans as potentially vulnerable in the World Atlas of Languages.

Afrikaans listed as ‘potentially vulnerable’ by UNESCO: AfriForum

AfriForum provided information about Afrikaans and other South African languages for inclusion in the atlas.

“Clearly the creators of the platform are not completely ignorant about Afrikaans. The fact that it is described as potentially vulnerable, indicates that the challenges facing the language have been acknowledged,” the organisation’s Alana Bailey said.  

Bailey says the World Atlas of Languages is aimed at celebrating different languages across the world. 

“This atlas is an interactive and dynamic online platform that documents the status of languages around the world. It was launched in February 2022 with the aim of celebrating the world’s linguistic diversity and multilingualism as a unique heritage and treasure of humanity, while helping to preserve, revitalise and promote all languages”. 

It also offers researchers an opportunity to use the names of countries or languages as search words, says Bailey.

“In the case of South Africa, no information about either the country’s population, or its official languages are available on the platform. As far as Afrikaans and the other indigenous languages of the country is concerned, they have simply been classified as potentially vulnerable.

“AfriForum has provisionally sent information on the population and official languages of South Africa to the platform and will continue to provide it with essential facts as it becomes available.”


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