What Are Talking Dictionaries?
Over half of the world's languages may disappear by 2100. It is up to our generation to create more visibility for endangered languages, and more accessibility to language materials online. A Talking Dictionary is an online tool built with the latest web technologies in an effort to speed the availability of language resources for every endangered language in the world. Tools such as this have the power to shift how we think about endangered languages. Rather than perceiving these tongues as being antiquated, difficult to learn and on the brink of vanishing, we can see them as modern, accessible for learning, and easily visible and audible online.
Talking Dictionaries promote connectivity over vast distances, and support an online community of language learners who wish to hear and learn a language without close proximity to fluent speakers. They allow thousands of recorded words and phrases to be available at one’s fingertips. High-quality audio recordings accompany the dictionary entries so that community members, new speakers and research scholars can listen to the correct pronunciation by a proficient speaker. Engaging images also provide a wider sense of the cultural context for the language.
What are some of the features of the new mobile app?
Who We Are
Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages is a leading research organization dedicated to documenting endangered languages. Founded by linguist Dr. Gregory D. S. Anderson, Living Tongues Institute is a non-profit research institute based in Salem, Oregon, with remote researchers and collaborators located around the globe. With over two decades of fieldwork experience, we have the skills and methods in place to help communities document, protect, and promote their languages. Our teams conduct documentary linguistic fieldwork, publish scientific papers and present at academic conferences. We also run digital training workshops to empower language activists, and collaborate with speakers of endangered languages to teach them how to release their own online Talking Dictionaries. Furthermore, we raise awareness about endangered languages and support language revitalization efforts in many of the communities we work in.
Help Us Launch More Talking Dictionaries
With your help, we can continue to improve our software and make it available for anyone or any group who wishes to create their own Talking Dictionary for their community’s language. Our goal for this version of the software is to release it in late 2019. Eventually, we would like to to launch 100 new Talking Dictionaries every year for the next 30 years (yes, indeed, that’s 3,000 dictionaries!). Our long-term goal is to have a Talking Dictionary online for each of the 3,000+ threatened languages in the world by 2050.
Donate Today and Make an Impact!
Taking into account the time spent identifying, collecting and editing language data, as well as the cost programming and storage, we estimate that each entry into a Talking Dictionary costs about a dollar to produce. Even a small amount can make a difference, and a large amount can go a long way to preserving a language for generations to come.
As of June 25th, any donation over $50 will receive an exclusive Living Tongues tshirt! Sizes run from S-XXL so donate before the end of the campaign on June 30th to grab yours! Morgan will contact you at the conclusion of the campaign with more shipping information.
Questions? Contact Ms. Morgan Mann, Director of Development. firstname.lastname@example.org