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It is estimated that there are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, of which nearly half are in danger of extinction and are likely to disappear in the next hundred years. Most of these endangered languages have less than a few thousand speakers left, and with no documentation. Nearly five hundred languages have fewer than ten speakers and are very likely to vanish very soon. Other languages are lost gradually when they are overwhelmed by a more dominant language at school, in the marketplace and on television.

The Rosetta Project is an effort to preserve all of these languages—numbering some 1,500— that have a high likelihood of extinction before this century is over. Inspired by the original Rosetta Stone, the idea of the Rosetta Project is to create a key that would allow future generations to decipher the lost languages.

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