I heard recently that Google has set up an Endangered Language Project, which I find interesting. There’s even an interesting map showing dots of where these languages are.
I tried my bit by learning Scottish Gaelic (my great grandmother spoke it), but things being what they were my priorities have changed somewhat – Spanish, French and Catalan have moved up the list of languages to learn. Although I still dip into my Scottish Gaelic book, I just can’t concentrate so much on it, and I don’t have the context to practice it.
It’s a reality that languages die out, or they change beyond recognition. And even if we enter a lingual “bottle-neck” (like Latin a couple of thousand years ago, or English now) where local languages are soon pushed over by a more popular language sooner or later down the line that popular one will soon find itself branching. Languages just aren’t stable things, otherwise all the modern speakers of Romance languages would be still be fluent in Latin.
I thing more than preserving languages (they can’t be anyway) it’s better to maintain lingual diversity. There’s a richness of languages out there, and they all have different things to express. We don’t have to rely on just one! (plus it does wonders for the neurons, lol)