Google ‘to save endangered languages’

Google has launched a new website in a bid to save endangered languages from disappearing forever.

Google

Google is trying to help save endangered languages with its new website. Photo: Alamy

Called ‘The Endangered Languages Project’, the search giants hopes by using technology to encourage collaboration between people familiar with the languages at risk and providing a comprehensive database, it will help preserve these historical words.

Today we’re introducing something we hope will help [preserve languages on the brink of disappearing]: the Endangered Languages Project, a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about endangered languages,” wrote Clara Rivera Rodriguez and Jason Rissman, project managers of Google’s Endangers Languages Project, on the company blog.

“Documenting the 3,000+ languages that are on the verge of extinction (about half of all languages in the world) is an important step in preserving cultural diversity, honouring the knowledge of our elders and empowering our youth. Technology can strengthen these efforts by helping people create high-quality recordings of their elders (often the last speakers of a language), connecting diaspora communities through social media and facilitating language learning.”

The project is being backed by a new coalition, the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, will give people interested in preserving a language, a dedicated place to store and access research – as well as building collaborators.

The long-term goal of the project is for “true experts in the field of language preservation to take the lead” from Google and collaborate with other interested parties.

Research about the world’s most threatened languages is already being shared on the new site by the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), led by teams at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Eastern Michigan University, with funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

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Posted on June 22, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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