By the time the 21st century runs out, half of all human languages will be extinct, victims of cultural and political forces, the spread of technology, and assimilation in general.
“What is lost when a language is lost is another world,” says Stephen Anderson, of Yale University.
I think there are multiple parallels to globalism and media consolidation here (e.g. the number of owners of TV outlets has decreased by 40% since 1995). Nature teaches us that biodiversity is necessary and good. Whether you’re talking about insect populations, languages, media outlets, or operating systems, there is greater systemic health when there is more diversity. And yet I can’t imagine a way to reduce the rate of language death — it’s simply an aspect of human history I think we will have to accept. And then one day we’ll all wake up speaking fluent TimeWarnerComcast-ese with a Microsoft accent. But at least we’ll all be speaking the same language.