The University of Alaska Fairbanks has joined Google in launching the Endangered Languages Project, a collaborative website that will allow people worldwide to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about endangered languages.
UAF’s Alaska Native Language Archive will contribute materials for the project, which is backed by a new coalition of organizations, the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity.
The project provides a collaborative online platform that will allow Alaska Native communities to both access language documentation and enrich, annotate and even add to that documentation.
The site will function like a moderated social platform, similar to a wiki. The public will have access to language data, audio, text and video samples, and bibliographic resources. Native language speakers will be able to use the site to share their languages, upload samples and comments, and communicate with each other. Community members and scholars can use the site to share best practices, which in turn stands to improve their efforts to preserve endangered languages. Members of the public will have unprecedented access to the languages and the ability to explore and engage with them in a single site.
“Our hope is that this project will help accelerate language documentation and revitalization and build the most complete and dynamic catalogue of endangered languages that can be used by communities to maintain their languages,” said Gary Holton, director of the Alaska Native Languages Archive, the premier repository worldwide for documentation of Alaska’s Native languages.
For more information, see www.endangeredlanguages.com .