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Moves to Register Endangered Languages, Dialects With UNESCO


09  January 2006



LONDON, (CAIS) -- National Commission of UNESCO has welcomed a proposal that Iranian Language Association be entrusted the task of preparing for the registration of endangered Iranian languages as global cultural heritage by the world body, reported CHN.

The world cultural body views endangered languages and dialects in different parts of Iran from two perspectives: Firstly, some Iranian languages with a background of several centuries should be registered as cultural heritage with UNESCO. Secondly, in order to register the languages as global cultural heritage, a national committee should be established to study the case.

"On the other hand, some dialects and languages spoken in different regions of the country are on the verge of extinction for a variety of reasons and specialized national entities should extend support to preserve them". The head of National UNESCO Commission, Farhad Etemadi said that supporting endangered languages is distinct from registering them.

"As a preliminary step, one of the national bodies should undertake the initiative of supporting endangered languages and dialects by making statistical assessment about them to draw the attention of relevant national organs and UNESCO. Expertise of linguists working in cooperation with UNESCO would play a key and useful role in this respect" Etemadi said.

The official added that irrespective of being a private or state body, UNESCO would study the report by the national entity and dispatch international experts to review applications by member states to register endangered languages or dialects.

He said that the UNESCO National Commission will forward the report by the specialized body on endangered languages and dialects to its Paris-based headquarters which, in turn, would dispatch experts to Tehran to study the request.




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