The NY Times has an interesting story about the extinction of many of the world's spoken languages. Of the world's 7,000 languages, as many as half will disappear during the next century.
...83 languages with “global” influence are spoken and written by 80 percent of the world population. Most of the others face extinction at a rate, the researchers said, that exceeds that of birds, mammals, fish and plants.
Nearly half of the world's 6.6 billion people are native speakers of one of the top 15 languages.