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.
The Endangered Languages Project puts technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront 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 from the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat) compiled by teams at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and Eastern Michigan University, but they can also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, images, audio or video files. In addition, users are 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 ELP site has transitioned to First Peoples' Cultural Council and Eastern Michigan University in coordination with the Governance Council.
Veronica Grondona - Project Manager
Stephanie Walla - Assistant Project Manager