Google sites aim to keep 'endangered languages' alive

Posted by Mark Raby

Google is launching a new series of websites that will hopefully prevent more than 3,000 languages from dying.

The search giant has navigated through its massive amounts of data and found that thousands of languages are so uncommon in today's world that they are on the brink of extinction.

It doesn't realistically think it can keep all of them in everyday use, but it does want to at least have a comprehensive record about every one.

Every language in question has its own dedicated page, complete with video samples of the language being spoken, encyclopedic information about the language, and a call to users to upload their own documents about the language.

"Google has played a role in the development and launch of this project, but the long-term goal is for true experts in the field of language preservation to take the lead," said Google project leaders Clara River Rodriguez and Jason Rissman.

Every language is classified with one of the following levels of endangerment:

- At Risk
- Endangered
- Severely Endangered
- Vitality Unknown

"As such, in a few months we’ll officially be handing over the reins to the First Peoples' Cultural Council (FPCC) and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The LINGUIST List) at Eastern Michigan University," the Google employees continued.

 

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