The Endangered Languages Project
Humanity today is facing a massive extinction: languages are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. And when that happens, a unique vision of the world is lost. With every language that dies we lose an enormous cultural heritage; the understanding of how humans relate to the world around us; scientific, medical and botanical knowledge; and most importantly, we lose the expression of communities’ humor, love and life. In short, we lose the testimony of centuries of life.
Languages are entities that are alive and in constant flux, and their extinction is not new; however, the pace at which languages are disappearing today has no precedent and is alarming. Over 40 percent of the world’s approximate 7,000 languages are at risk of disappearing. But today we have tools and technology at our fingertips that could become a game changer.
The Endangered Languages Project puts technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront the language endangerment by documenting, preserving and teaching them. Through this website, users can not only access the most up to date and comprehensive information on Endangered Languages as well as samples being provided by partners, but also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio or video files. In addition, users will be able to share best practices and case studies through a knowledge sharing section and through joining relevant Google Groups.
Google oversaw the development and launch of this project with the long term goal for it to be led by true experts in the field of language preservation. As such, oversight of the project has transitioned to First Peoples' Cultural Council and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The Linguist List) at Eastern Michigan University in coordination with the Governance Committee.
This website was designed and developed with the help of Vizzuality and Exygy.
The languages included in this project and the information displayed about them are provided by the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), produced by the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The LINGUIST List) at Eastern Michigan University, with funding provided by the National Science Foundation (Grant #1058096) and supported by a team of global experts. While ELCat is a three-year project that only began in the fall of 2011, it is being shared through this site so that feedback from language communities and scholars worldwide can be incorporated to update the world’s knowledge about its most at-risk languages. This means that the languages included on this site and the information presented about them is intended to change over time.
This project is being guided by an active Governance Committee that bring diverse perspectives, talents and commitments to the project. Membership will be by invitation only. Current members are:
大多数上传到濒危语言项目的内容都将在几个相关的 Google 产品和服务上托管，包括 YouTube、Picasa 和 Google 文档。这些服务都有自己专用的产品政策和内容准则。除了这些条款之外，所有通过其他 Google 产品或服务提交的内容还必须遵守其各自的条款。这些条款包括但不限于：禁止提交包含色情、淫秽、恋童、人兽交或其他色情资料的内容；仇恨或暴力内容；骚扰内容或侵犯他人隐私权的内容。