How To Say “Thank You” In 5 Endangered Languages

Did you know endangered languages comprise half of the languages spoken in the world? They’re estimated to be lost within 100 years. Language passes from person to person, along with the culture and traditions, so if it’s not spoken, it faces eradication—forever. Indigenous groups in particular are facing language extinction.

But thankfully, groups like Living Tongues are helping preserve endangered languages, through multimedia documentation and community outreach. They travel to areas with endangered languages and with the help of these speakers and their surrounding communities, set up goals to establish and maintain the language.

Make a difference on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and help Living Tongues preserve endangered languages. Learn how to say “thank you” in five endangered languages—it only takes a few minutes! Check out the languages below, and practice saying them a few times. Then show off the new words to your friends and teach them!


This Turkic language is spoken in the Republic of Tuva in south-central Siberia, Russia. An estimated 200,000 speak it currently.

Say thank you in Tuvanулуг өөрдүм [ulug öördüm]. Listen here.


It may surprise some to know there are many endangered languages in the United States, mostly indigenous. A confederation of Native American tribes in Oregon still speak Siletz today, though that number is decreasing.

Say thank you in Siletz: shu’ ’aa-shi nin-la. Listen here.

Matukar Panau

This Austronesian language is native to Papau New Guinea. Odds are most of us will probably never travel to Papau New Guinea, so saying “thank you” in Matukar Panau is almost as cool as being there.

Say thank you in Matukar Panau: uyanamok. Listen here.


The Zamucoan language is indigenous to what is now Paraguay and thought to have been spoke in present-day Bolivia, too.

Say thank you in Chamacoco: hneshɨt. Listen here.

Kera Mundari

Kera Mundari is Austroasiatic language spoken by the Munda people of Bangladesh.

Say thank you in Kera Mundaribahut beːs. Listen here.