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Enduring Voices: The Extinct Languages Quiz
by Staff
Dead languages are more than words lost to the ages. They represent entire cultures, civilizations and people history struggles to remember. See how much you know about long-departed dialects and those that are still in danger of extinction.

What percentage of the world's more than 6,000 languages will likely be extinct by the end of the century?

  • 10 percent
  • 25 percent
  • 50 percent

The last native speaker of this Isle of Man tongue died in 1974.

  • Manx
  • Welsh
  • Cornish

The 2008 death of Marie Smith Jones meant the end of the Eyak language, a native tongue of this U.S. state.

  • Alaska
  • California
  • New York

Developed around 3100 B.C.E, this language was one of the first to use cuneiform.

  • Tasmanian
  • Sumerian
  • Ainu

What language did Chaucer use to write his "Canterbury Tales?"

  • Middle English
  • Old English
  • Coptic

The Ainu people of this nation were prohibited from speaking their native language in 1899.

  • China
  • Japan
  • Sri Lanka

How many languages are spoken by fewer than 10 people?

  • 100
  • 250
  • 500

What supposedly dead language did Pope Benedict XVI use to announce his resignation?

  • Latin
  • Hebrew
  • Coptic

What once living language was replaced by Aramaic around the year 200?

  • Middle English
  • Latin
  • Hebrew

What ancient Roman tongue was replaced by Latin around the 7th century B.CE.?

  • Sumerian
  • Nahuatl
  • Etruscan

What percentage of global languages have died out in the last 500 years?

  • 5
  • 10
  • 50

Which of these languages is NOT found on the Rosetta stone?

  • hieroglyphics
  • English
  • Greek

How many languages were lost in the U.S. alone in the last 500 years?

  • 15
  • 55
  • 115

What drove the native tongue of the island of Tambora extinct in 1815?

  • war
  • disease
  • volcanic eruption

What percentage of global languages have fewer than 100,000 speakers?

  • 15
  • 35
  • 85

Which population communicated in the now-defunct Classical Nahuatl?

  • Etruscans
  • Aztecs
  • Brazilians

How many people speak Welsh, according to a 2012 survey?

  • 300
  • 3000
  • 300000

What ancient Egyptian language was replaced by Arabic during the 7th century?

  • Coptic
  • Slovenic
  • Etruscan

The dozen or so native dialects on this island nation went extinct by the late 19th century.

  • Tasmania
  • Easter Island
  • Japan

During the 9th century, more than 40,000 people still spoke this now-dead British dialect.

  • Coptic
  • Sumerian
  • Cornish