The UN has established an excellent practice: to name each year after one of the global problems. This is the right approach. After all, officials around the world are the same - they need a prompt to do their job well. This year, thanks to UN, they will be engaged in preservation of indigenous languages.
In Russia, languages are in less danger than in Africa or Central America. But we have critical situations as well. For example, a small-numbered Soyote people, who live in the Republic of Buryatia. Two hundred years ago they stopped using their language and switched to Buryat. Now scientists and teachers are trying to revive the Soyote language, but it is a difficult process…
The Nivkh people live on Sakhalin island and the Amur river. Just before New Year a modern ABC book was published in the Nivkh language. A textbook for grade 4 already exists. But there is an urgent need for support in the publication of textbooks for grade 2 and 3.
This year we plan to help each region to create an Indigenous Languages Support Program. In January, we will prepare our proposals for Kamchatka. The Governor of Kamchatka Vladimir Ilyukhin was one of the first to declare his region's readiness to adopt such a program.
The reduction in the number of languages spoken is a global trend indeed. I hope that Russia will continue to occupy the lowest positions in this rating.