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55 Following a discussion

 Answer these questions:

a According to the UNESCO report 
- how many languages are there in the world today? 
- how many are in danger of dying out by 2 100? 
b Where do speakers of the Ainu and Maori languages live?
How many Welsh speakers were there in 199 l? How many are there today?
What are the arguments in favo ur of 'language revitalization'?
e What are the arguments against language revitalization?


A: According to the UNESCO report we read,there are more than 6,000 languages in theworld today, but over half are in danger ofdying out before the end of this century .
B: Yeah, like the language used by the Ainuin Japan. It has less than a few hundredspeakers left.
A: Or the Maori language in New Zea land. The report says one language becomes extinct every two weeks. It's terrible. Basically, I think we need to do whatever it takes to keep these languages alive.
D: Hmm. I don't quite see it like that. Can you actually protect a language anyway?
B: Yes, Welsh is a great example.
D: Really?
B: Yes. When the Welsh Language Board was set up in 1991, only 190 percent of the population spoke Welsh. Now it's up to around 250 percent I think, and rising, and most speakers are younger than 30.
A: Yeah, the fact is language revitalization is critical. Every government should do what they can to support languages.
D: I'm not sure I agree. I wonder if we need 6,000 languages. I mean, languages become extinct for a reason, you know .because nobody wants to speak them! We can't assume that every language must naturally survive.
E: I think that's a good point. I mean, things change.
C: But, you know, languages tell us about who we are. You ca n't separate language from culture. Take one away, and the other dies.
E: I don't agree. At least, not for Italy.
A: Do you think you could say a bit moreabout that, please Maria?
E: Sure. Before, there have been over a hundred languages or at least different dialects, inItaly but now basically we all speak Italian,we all feel Italian. We haven't lost our 
culture because we all speak the same language.
D: And if we all spoke the same language at least we'd understand each other. There'd be fewer wars and ...
C: I think you might be mistaken on that point.I don't think there would be fewer wars, for a start.
E: Also it costs millions and millions of pounds to keep these tiny languages from dying out.
A: I don't think you've got that right.
C: So you think everyone in the world should speak English?
E: Why not? We all do! Let's use the money on food and clean water for people.
B: That's ridiculous.
D: I don't think so. Are you saying we should let people die just to spend the money on saving a language hardly anyone speaks? Which is more important ... the life of aperson, or the life of a language?