Non-Profit “7000 Languages” Uses Technology to Protect Indigenous and Endangered Languages Posted by Transparent Language on Nov 21, 2016 in CL-150, Language Learning, Language News
Hello, language-lovers everywhere!
I’m thrilled to announce the expansion of Transparent Language’s 7000 Languages Project into a full-fledged nonprofit organization. My name is Alexa Little, and I’ll be serving as the Executive Director of the new nonprofit, 7000 Languages.
Today, over 3,000 of the world’s 7,000 languages are endangered. Languages become endangered when political, social, economic, or ethnic pressures force people to stop using their heritage language. Languages go extinct when nobody steps in to relieve those pressures.
A language vanishes nearly every three months and with it vanishes valuable historical, medicinal, and linguistic information. As a source of identity and cultural pride, the language itself is valuable. Local language use is even associated with better health and education outcomes. For these reasons and more, endangered language speakers are striving to recover their languages. The mission of 7000 Languages is to connect language advocates with the technology to teach, learn, and revive their languages. We believe that every community deserves the tools to keep its language alive.
From the start, Transparent Language has been a driving force behind 7000 Languages. The program began in 2009, when Transparent Language launched the Heritage and Endangered Languages Preservation Program (HELPP). As international language organizations began participating in the program, HELPP evolved into the 7000 Languages Project. Now, it is evolving yet again to become 7000 Languages. All this time, Transparent Language has been donating its technology and expertise to help endangered language groups preserve and promote their languages.
Making online and mobile courses in indigenous and endangered languages may sound complicated, but the core program model is quite simple. First, an endangered language organization reaches out to 7000 Languages. We work with their team of linguists and language experts to determine their needs. Then, we teach them how to create an online language course using Transparent Language’s world-class technology. Once the course is finished, the language team can share it with anyone interested in their language. Best of all, thanks to support from Transparent Language and our generous donors, participation in the program is 100% free!
All we ask is that these teams become 7000 Languages Partners and “pay it forward” by helping guide and train future participants. The goal of the 7000 Languages community is to work together to protect all 7,000 of the world’s languages.
If you’re interested in language revival or languages in general, I invite you to come talk with us! Engage with us on Twitter and Facebook and learn more about what we do on our blog. We’ll also be posting about volunteer opportunities, our end-of-year fundraiser, and other ways you can help.
I hope to hear from you soon!
Executive Director, 7000 Languages