Languages: The endangered-speeches list

 

When 92-year-old Bobby Hogg died on Tuesday he took with him a whole language. Hogg was the only man left who could talk in the old fishing dialect of the town of Cromarty in the Black Isle area of the Highlands.

The language was one of a number of endangered British languages. Other include: Polari, the language used by gay people prior to the legalisation of homosexuality, is in very bad shape – the crunch of the policeman's boot no longer giving impetus to created words such as "clobber" for clothes and "slap" for make-up.

Cornish is critically endangered, too, with only 600 people able to speak it. There are 1,327 people who still understand Guernsey French and UNESCO calls the once-great Scottish Gaelic tongue "definitely endangered". Obh obh. (Oh dear, for non-Scottish Gaelic speakers).

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