Languages and Endangered Languages along the Silk Roads


Throughout history, thousands of languages have been spoken along the lengths of the Silk Roads, both land and maritime. These languages have been one of the major means of transmission of knowledge, beliefs, traditions and customs between peoples alongside the historic Silk Roads and into societies and communities far beyond. However, despite their historic vibrancy, not all of these languages have survived until today: some continue to be spoken whilst others are endangered or have become extinct. Those that are endangered or extinct have been recorded on the UNESCO list of World Languages in Danger.

Learn more about the languages in the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.

The Silk Roads Online Platform provides information about the languages of the historic Silk Roads.

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Languages and Endangered Languages along the Silk Roads

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This platform has been developed and maintained with the support of:


UNESCO Headquarters

7 Place de Fontenoy

75007 Paris, France

Social and Human Sciences Sector

Research, Policy and Foresight Section

Silk Roads Programme