Why we should care when languages die
There’s a lot of talk about languages dying, but it’s hard to appreciate what this means. Currently, there are nearly 7,000 spoken languages alive in communities throughout the world. Some of these languages thrive and will continue to live on from generation to generation.
Others aren’t so lucky…
Every 14 days, a language dies. Spanish, Mandarin, and English and other main-stream languages tied to world economics continue to be the focus for a growing number of people. Meanwhile, regional-specific languages die out.
By 2100, roughly half of the world’s languages will disappear based on current projections. We’ve lost thousands of languages already. Linguists estimate that over 20,000 languages were in existence before 8,000 B.C. Most of them are gone. When there are no more speakers to speak a language, it dies, taking its unique way of sharing the world and the very heart and soul of the people it represented along with it.
Creating a new language-learning methodology to preserve a dying language
OptiLingo founder, Jonty Yamisha, wasn’t always a language learner. In fact, he had struggled most of his life to learn languages. In fact, it wasn’t until he was 30 when he realized that learning his native language, Circassian, wasn’t just about reconnecting with friends and family, it was about keeping his culture from disappearing. Forever.
Over the course of 10 years, Jonty Yamisha built a foundation for language learning from the methods he used to teach himself. And he quickly realized found the most effective theories and learned which ones to avoid. Through trial and error, he built a system that helped him learn Circassian independently. Using those methods, he began to help other Circassians learn their ethnic language.
OptiLingo’s origins begin with an unexpected surprise. Jonty received an email from a stranger, thanking him for guiding him to fluency in Turkish. But Jonty didn’t teach Turkish. He didn’t even know it (at the time).
Jonty learned that the stranger learned how to speak a new language simply by adapting Jonty’s methodology to his Turkish lessons. After realizing that people could quickly learn how to speak other languages using his teaching methods, Jonty set out to create a platform that would help others rapidly reach fluency. Over the years, that platform became OptiLingo.
Why language preservation matters
Language, culture, and identity are inextricably intertwined. While English may be the lingua franca, it doesn’t represent the culture and identity of a vast majority of humanity. And yet, as major languages continue to expand, they wipe out smaller, endangered languages.
But it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game.
OptiLingo’s mission is to make language learning accessible to anyone, demystifying what it means to learn another language. We hope that by presenting effective and proven methodologies while guiding and inspiring language learners, that more people will feel empowered to learn languages.
Once more people truly believe they can achieve their dream of learning a new language, they can more easily embrace the value in learning languages closer to home. Closer to their heart. And over time, many of these smaller languages can be embraced and protected through time.