The Internet: Saving Lives of Languages Everywhere

Photo: Taken by Chris Rainer for National Geographic

The Internet is a veritable superhero for ancient languages across the globe, saving them from extinction. Some languages that haven’t ever been written or recorded in any way are now being stored in a sort of language zoo in order to preserve languages that may otherwise be lost. This is all happening at the National Geographic’s Enduring Voices project, pulling endangered languages from the brink of extinction.

According to Nat geo, every 14 days a language dies; by 2100 more than half of the 7,000 languages that are spoken on Earth face the possibility of disappearing. That would be a lot of exotic culture lost, practically in the blink of an eye!

The Enduring Voices project seeks to literally go out across the continents, track down these languages and record them on the Internet, and save them from disappearing without a trace.

The talking dictionaries feature more than 32,000 written words and 24,000 audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and sentences. You can explore some incredibly unique languages from the Celtic Lexicon to Matukar Panau – an Oceanic language from Papua New Guinea preserved by only 600 living speakers!

It’s a perfect example of the benefit of technology, globalisation, and the idea of cultural preservation. All you lexcial geeks – learn some of these languages and you can be in a rather exclusive club of speakers.

[Via SBS and National Geographic]

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