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Google sets out to save dying languages

15:14 AEST Thu Jun 21 2012
AAP
Google sets out to save dying languages
Google sets out to save dying languages

Google is setting out to save the world's dying languages.

In an alliance with scholars and linguists, it has launched an endangered languages website where people can find, share, and store information about dialects in danger of disappearing.

"People can share their knowledge and research directly through the site and help keep the content up-to-date," project managers Clara Rivera Rodriguez and Jason Rissman said in a blog post.

"A diverse group of collaborators have already begun to contribute content ranging from 18th-century manuscripts to modern teaching tools like video and audio language samples and knowledge-sharing articles."

The website at endangeredlanguages.com is designed to let users upload video, audio, or text files and encourages them to memorialise recordings of rare dialects.

Only half of the approximately 7000 languages spoken today are expected to survive past the end of the century, according to a project video on YouTube.

"Documenting ... languages that are on the verge of extinction is an important step in preserving cultural diversity, honouring the knowledge of our elders and empowering our youth," Rodriguez and Rissman said.