I while ago I came across Vilamovian, a language so small I’d never even heard of it, on Wikipedia. I’ve discovered quite a few languages this way, including whimsically-named ones such as the Fur language of the Fur people in Sudan.
However, what drove me to Vilamovian wasn’t just an interesting name (though the name of the language in Vilamovian, Wymysiöeryś, does look pretty awesome), but rather an amazement at the language itself. A minority language spoken in a single town in Poland, it looks, and to a certain extent sounds, like a bizarre and wonderful mix of Polish and German.
Using what is essentially Polish orthography with umlauted characters added, you get awesome-looking sentences like “Daj Kyngrajch zuł dö kuma;”. I love weird combinations like this, so finding Vilamovian made my day.
Unfortunately, as mentioned before, Vilamovian is a minority language and is spoken by a bilingual ageing population, meaning it will almost inevitably die out. All of the academic work I can find on it is either in Polish or German, but you can hear it spoken at some parts in this Polish short documentary (skip to 1:50 for the first instance).
Language death is an unstoppable but nevertheless sadenning process. When I first read about the language I fantasised about going to this remote village and learning the language from the natives, compiling its grammar and lexicon with precision and creating learning materials to spur it back into wider use. But who would care? Even its speakers are probably disinterested. And so another tongue will fade away.