40% of Minority Languages on the Way Out
- Non-han languages: 55 officially designated “peoples” (民族) speak an estimated 130 languages
- Populations: one-half of non-Han languages are spoken by groups that number under 10,000 members, of which 20+ have 1,000 speakers or less
- Endangered languages: Manchu, Tatar, She, Hezhen can no longer be used for conversation; another 20 percent, such as Nu, Yilao, Pumi and Jinuo are approaching that state; and a total of 40 percent are in danger of extinction in the mid-term.
- Manchu: 11 million ethnic Manchus, but only 100 or so can speak fluently and less than a dozen read and write well.