Ainu language – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ainu language – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: «Ainu is a moribund language, and has been endangered for at least the past few decades. Most of the 150,000 self-proclaimed ethnic Ainu in Japan (many additional Ainu are not aware of their origins or are secretive for fear of discrimination) speak only Japanese. In the town of Nibutani (part of Biratori, Hokkaido) where many of the remaining native speakers live, there are 100 speakers, out of which only 15 used the language every day in the late 1980s. The number of speakers today (by whatever definition one may use) is not known with any certainty. In all of Hokkaido, it is estimated that there are perhaps 1000 native speakers, almost all older than 30. Among Ainu speakers (broadly defined), second-language learners presently outnumber native ones.»