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Quelle incurie de la part de l’UNESCO, qui est située en France en plus; on comprend mieux pourquoi l’acronyme n’a jamais été francisé, en plus. Avec des défenseurs de tel acabit, le français n’aura bientôt plus besoin de fossoyeurs!

Il est cocasse, pour ne pas dire inquiétant, de noter que cette page de l’UNESCO qui traite, entre autres, de « diversité linguistique » est disponible seulement en version anglaise – voir note de l’UNESCO ci-dessous en rouge.

Source :

Diversité linguistique et biodiversité : quels rapports ?
(Le texte suivant n’est malheureusement pas disponible en français).

The reversal of the current trend of biodiversity loss and degradation will only be possible if it is tackled in an integrated, interdisciplinary manner that combines different fields, … namely education, science, culture and communication

Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO

La cosmovision andine des Kallawaya

La cosmovision andine des Kallawaya
© Vice Ministerio de Cultura

In 2002 the States Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) committed to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth by 2010 (the 2010 Biodiversity Target).

Subsequently, 22 Headline Indicators to measure progress towards this target were adopted. The indicators cover the seven Focal Areas, including the one on the Status of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices. As part of this effort, UNESCO is developing a Linguistic Vitality Index to be used as the 2010 Target Indicator on the Status and Trends of Linguistic Diversity and Numbers of Speakers of Indigenous Languages.

The preservation of traditional knowledge related to biodiversity may depend to a large degree on the safeguarding of the languages that are vehicles of that knowledge. It thus becomes crucial to find ways to record linguistic diversity and vitality and to track their change over time.

Over the past three years (2006 – 2009) UNESCO has conducted a large-scale data collection and collation effort in order to constitute a global baseline from which trends on numbers of speakers can be calculated in the future. A two-pronged methodological approach has been used:

1. Country-based data collection on numbers of speakers of indigenous languages using mainly national censuses and surveys. Our searchable electronic database currently contains over 5000 entries covering a time-span of forty years, and is a unique resource on global language statistics. It also stores information on language data collection methodologies (in particular, the questions asked by census-takers) for over 100 countries, which has allowed us to begin a comparative analytical study at the global level;

2. Language community-based data collection on a variety of sociolinguistic parameters, including numbers of speakers, degree of endangerment and spatial location. This was done with the help of a standardized data collection tool in the form of a questionnaire titled Linguistic Vitality and Diversity, sent to hundreds of linguists (300 have been returned so far), as well as data compiled by UNESCO’s experts for the third edition of the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger (over 2500 languages).

A preliminary analysis of the language data collected so far established that the definitions, criteria and methodologies used for language data collection differ substantially from one expert or Statistics office to the other, and often from one census round to the next. As a result, comparisons across sources and the calculation of trends become problematic. To overcome these difficulties and constitute a global dataset that would permit a more effective monitoring of the status and trends in linguistic vitality and diversity, it is crucial to achieve a certain degree of harmonization of definitions and methodologies across the world.

If you have done research on an indigenous language, please fill in the questionnaire (anglais|espagnol|chinois) and send it back to us at the following e-mail address:

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