A mixup in version differences between developer and server environments we ended up with two different items for some language items. That is, we have 2 items each in /sitecore/system/Languages for en-US and fr-CA. There is already content for both languages.
Deleting the unwanted language item gives a dialog that advises that all item versions for that language will also be deleted. Experimentation confirms that this is the case. Between en-US and fr-CA, that is the entirety of the website.
I have tried to recover the missing versions by moving the items from the web database to master. Some pages are broken after this trial.
Is there a way to delete one of the duplicate language items without also deleting all of the content item versions?