Researchers point out that the disappearance of indigenous languages 'will result in the loss of valuable medical knowledge.'

It is believed that there are thousands of languages on earth, from major ones such as English and French to minor ones spoken by ethnic minorities. However, it has been pointed out that languages spoken by only a few people are in danger of disappearing, and that the disappearance of these languages will result in the loss of 'valuable medical knowledge.'

Language extinction triggers the loss of unique medicinal knowledge | PNAS

The Global Extinct of Languages Is Threatening a Vital Type of Human Knowledge

In a 2013 report, it was pointed out that 3054 languages are on the verge of disappearing all over the world, and it is said that languages are disappearing at a speed of about once every four months. The disappearance of a language is not just a loss of linguistic diversity, but also a loss of the inherent knowledge that the language has conveyed for hundreds or thousands of years.

In a treatise, the research team said, 'Indigenous peoples have accumulated a high degree of knowledge about plants and their efficacy, which contains knowledge that has important health benefits and is language-encoded. , Indigenous knowledge is threatened by the disappearance of language and the extinction of plant species, 'he said, pointing out that the disappearance of language leads to the disappearance of knowledge accumulated by indigenous peoples.

On the other hand, if knowledge is shared in multiple languages, the knowledge itself will survive the disappearance of a particular language. Therefore, a research team at the University of Zurich in Switzerland conducted a survey of North America, northwestern Amazon, and New Guinea to investigate how the disappearance of language and the disappearance of knowledge about 'medicinal plants' are related. We conducted an analysis that spans the language of the indigenous people, 3597 medicinal plants, and the benefits of 12,495 medicinal plants.

As a result of the analysis, knowledge about the efficacy of medicinal plants is often linked to only one language, and the benefits of medicinal plants are reported in only one language: 73% in North America, 91% in the northwestern Amazon, and 84% in New Guinea. It was said that it had been done.

It has also been pointed out that many languages that have knowledge of the benefits of medicinal plants are in danger of disappearing. The research team points out that 86% of the knowledge about the benefits of medicinal plants in North America, 100% in the northwestern Amazon, and 31% in New Guinea are conveyed in endangered languages. In New Guinea, knowledge is passed on in languages other than those that are in danger of disappearing, but in New Guinea, language research is not sufficient in the first place, and the percentage of modern young people who are fluent in indigenous languages compared to their parents is 33. It seems that you can never be optimistic because the percentage is low.

On the other hand, of the 3597 medicinal plants analyzed in this study, less than 5% were listed on the Endangered

Red List by the International Union for Conservation of Nature , and language disappeared rather than environmentally destroyed. Is in a more critical situation. 'Each indigenous language is a unique repository of medical knowledge. It's a rosette stone that unravels and preserves the contributions of nature to humankind.' 'The results show that the Americas are of indigenous knowledge. It emphasizes that it is a hotspot and an important priority area for documenting knowledge for the future. '

A 2015 study showed that medicinal plants used in the Australian Aboriginal community have antibiotic-like properties, and indigenous knowledge can help develop future medicines. There is a good chance that it will contribute. 'By the end of the 21st century, up to 30% of indigenous languages are projected to disappear, greatly impairing humanity's ability to discover drugs,' the research team warned.

in Science, Posted by log1h_ik