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The tragedy of dying languages

The last speaker of an ancient tribal language has died in the Andaman Islands, breaking a 65,000-year link to one of the world's oldest cultures.

Boa Sr, who lived through the Protected content , the Japanese occupation and diseases brought by British settlers, was the last native of the island chain who was fluent in Bo.

Boa Sr appears to have been in good health until recently. During the Indian Ocean tsunami, she reportedly climbed a tree to escape the waves.

She told linguists afterwards that she had been forewarned. "We were all there when the earthquake came. The eldest told us the Earth would part, don't run away or move."

The death of the last speaker of an ancient language in India's Andaman Islands highlights the fact that half of the world's 7,000 languages are in danger of disappearing. Linguist K David Harrison argues that we still have much to learn from vanishing languages.

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