Google has introduced the Endangered Languages Project website to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about endangered languages, reveals the most recent Google blog post. The website allows people to share their knowledge about languages and research directly through the site. A diverse group of collaborators have already begun to contribute content that ranges from 18th century manuscripts to modern teaching tools, like video and audio language samples and knowledge-sharing articles. The website encourages people to upload video, audio or text files and also memorialize recordings of rare dialects. It is believed to be a step taken to preserve languages that are on the verge of extinction and our cultural diversity, honour the language of our elders and also empower the youth.
Endangered Languages Project…
The Endangered Languages Project has been backed by a new coalition, called the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity that allows preserving languages. The members of the Advisory Committee have also provided guidance to help shape the site and ensure that it addresses the interests and needs of language communities.
“Google has played a role in the development and launch of this project, but the long-term goal is for true experts in the field of language preservation to take the lead. As such, in a few months we’ll officially be handing over the reins to the First Peoples' Cultural Council (FPCC) and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The LINGUIST List) at Eastern Michigan University. FPCC will take on the role of Advisory Committee Chair, leading outreach and strategy for the project. The LINGUIST List will become the Technical Lead. Both organizations will work in coordination with the Advisory Committee,” reveals the blog.
With funding offered by the National Science Foundation, members from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Eastern Michigan University are sharing the research about the threatened languages through a Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat). ELCat is already in the making and the information is being shared through the site, so that feedback from language communities and scholars can be incorporated to update the knowledge about the world’s most at-risk languages. Google is also inviting interested organizations to join the effort in preserving language endangerment.
Take a look at the video intrdoducing the Endangered Languages Project –