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Minority language


A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities. With a total number of 193 sovereign states recognized internationally (as of 2008) and an estimated number of roughly 5,000 to 7,000 languages spoken worldwide, it follows that the vast majority of languages are minority languages in every country in which they are spoken. Some minority languages are simultaneously also official languages, including the Irish language in Ireland. Likewise, some national languages are often considered minority languages, insofar as they are the national language of a stateless nation.

For the purposes of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages:

In most European countries the minority languages are defined by legislation or constitutional documents and afforded some form of official support. In 1992, Council of Europe adopted European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages to protect and promote historical regional and minority languages in Europe.

The signatories that have not yet ratified it as of 2012 are Azerbaijan, France, Ireland (since Irish is the first official language and there are no other minority languages), Iceland, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, and Russia.



Definition
"regional or minority languages" means languages that are:
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Wikipedia

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