Aurora - GreenlandWe often hear of languages becoming extinct, with the UN estimating that the world will lose half of its 6,700 languages by the end of the century.

This article, however, highlights one success story. Greenlandic, the native tongue of Greenland, is experiencing a revival, partly due to the country’s ongoing steps towards being independent from Denmark, who have ruled the island since the 18th Century.

With a population of just 55,000, Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world. Being tied to Denmark meant Danish was taking over as the most spoken language, with the associated loss of culture. As the article points out:

Grenoble smiles through the hardships because she believes that language is much more than words — it’s our culture, our history. It’s what connects people to one another, and if it’s lost, a society is truly threatened.

“When the language is in trouble there are all kinds of other things in trouble, so that’s the canary in the coal mine,” she said.

Let’s hope that Greenlandic, or Kalaallisut, can serve as an example to other indigenous and soon to be extinct languages.