So far we have been talking about languages that are spoken in many countries, such as English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, etc. In addition to the countries to which we could travel speaking English and Spanish , now, imagine that the language you speak is only spoken in your country. That would already be an impediment when it comes to going abroad, what if the language you speak is only spoken in your region, in your city, or in your town? WHAT IF YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON SPEAKING THAT LANGUAGE?

We all think at some point in our lives how cool it would be to have a secret language to say what we want in front of other people and speak only with our best friend. The nice thing about that is that afterwards you can use a language to communicate with the rest of the people around you. But what if you didn't have that possibility? How would you feel?

In the world there are about 7000 languages ​​as I mentioned in the entry MORE THAN 7000! and more than half of these are in danger of extinction because every day that passes there are fewer native speakers of those languages. In this post I introduce you to some of the languages with fewer native speakers.

Taushiro (Peru) 

Peru is the second country with the most official languages ​​nationwide , click here to find out more, in addition to having some 70 recognized languages. Among these languages ​​we find Taushiro , a language spoken in the Rio Tigre, in the department of Loreto. In 1975, 7 speakers were registered, today only one speaker of this language is known called Amadeo García García , who was awarded in 2017 by the Ministry of Culture on the day of the mother tongue.

Amadeo García García
Amadeo García García

After the death of his brother, Amadeo is the last speaker of this language , which he can no longer practice with anyone. However, Amadeo also speaks Spanish, so he can communicate with more people as we see in this small documentary about his life and his language.

Learn more about Taushiro and Amadeo in this article from 'The New York Times'.

Chamicuro (Peru)

The chamicuro comes from a town with the same name which is located at the head of the Samiria River, in the Loreto region in the Upper Amazon. It is also called camikódlo, the name by which the caterpillar that lives in the trunks of the Hevea trees is known, and on which the people of this town are supposed to feed.

This town barely has 10 inhabitants, of which only two speak Chamicuro fluently, both are quite old. It is a language from which there are few texts collected since does not have an official alphabet , just like there are no recordings of the language. However , I have found a book written in Spanish in which part of its vocabulary, its alphabet and how it is pronounced is written. Click here to see it.

Tanema (Solomon Islands)

Lainol Nalo

In the easternmost province of the Solomon Islands, we find Vanikoro Island, to which this almost extinct language, tanema, belongs. On this island we can find about 150 inhabitants. Among them, older people still understand some words of this language, however, only one of its inhabitants speaks it , he is Lainol Nalo.

Tanema was replaced by Teanu , which is the main language of one of the islands a little further north of Vanikoro, Teanu Island.

Lemerig (Vanuatu)

Vanuatu is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,750 km from Australia. With a population booming that is close to 300,000 inhabitants, there are three official languages, English, French and Bislama , although they are not the only languages, since there are about 100 local languages.

Among these local languages ​​we find Lemerig , a language on the verge of extinction with only 2 people who speak it. This language was losing prominence with the arrival of Mwotlap and Vera'a, two languages ​​from neighboring islands.

The good news is that the Vanuatu government has decided to include the teaching of this language in schools so that it does not disappear. Here is a video of Isso , one of the last two native speakers of Lemerig.

Njerep (Cameroon - Nigeria)

Njerep is a language from the village of Somié , located along the border between Nigeria and Cameroon . In 2000, 6 speakers were identified, of which the youngest was born in the 1940s. In 2007, a study was carried out again in which only 4 people spoke the language, and of them only one speaks well the language , the rest are not familiar with it. The language that the Njerep speakers chose to replace it was Mambila or Mvop , a language named after the Mambilla plateau.

In this link , you will find an article that talks about the language and in which its relationship with other already extinct or existing languages ​​is analyzed.


In this section I would like to thank Alex François, linguist specialized in Melanesian languages. Thanks to his website , to which you can access by clicking here , and to his kindness, I have achieved enough information and documents about Tanema and Lemerig .

He travels through Melanesia discovering languages ​​and collecting information about them. On his website you can find stories written in Vanuatu or Solomon Islands languages, even narratives with translation , works on linguistics, dictionaries and much more material.

So, after contacting him and asking for permission, I leave you here some stories collected by him in Lemerig.


Alexandre François & Taitus Sërortēlsöm. 2006. Nvāv ‘ām ‘a Lēmērig — Storian long lanwis blong Lemerig  (Vanua Lava, Banks, Vanuatu).
Colección de cuentos de la tradición oral, monolingüe en lengua lemerig de Vanuatu. París: CNRS.

Casey, N. (2017, 28 diciembre). Thousands Once Spoke His Language in the Amazon. Now, He’s the Only One. The New York Times.

Did you know Njerep is critically endangered? (2017). Endangered Languages.

EcuRed. (2018). Poblado Chamicuro – EcuRed.

François, A. (2021). A linguist in Melanesia. Alex François.

Lemerig. (2017, 10 mayo). lenguashabladasmundo.

Lemerig « Sorosoro. (2011). Sorosoro.

Orbegozo, M. (2017, 6 mayo). These Peruvian Languages Will Soon Be Extinct. Culture Trip.

Promotora Española de Lingüística. (2013). proel.

¿Sabías que el Chamicuro es una lengua clasificada como. (2017). Idiomas en peligro de extinción.

¿Sabías que el Lemerig es una lengua clasificada como. (2012). Idiomas en peligro de extinción.

X. (2019, 22 septiembre). Los idiomas menos hablados del mundo. Red-Viajes.

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