Endangered languages get a Google protection plan

Jul 18, 2012
Photo illustration shows a Native American member of the Navajo Code Talkers at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC in 2010. Google unveiled an online information exchange platform to try to give some extra lasting power to more than 3,000 endangered languages, including Navajo.

Google unveiled an online information exchange platform to try to give some extra lasting power to more than 3,000 endangered languages.

Called endangeredlanguages.com, it is out to help improve the exchange of digital source materials in languages spoken by small numbers of people, from Navajo in the United States, to Aragonese in Spain, to Koro in India and Burunge in Tanzania.

"It is an open, on-line platform where anybody can get on and start sharing materials in those languages which are in danger of being lost," said Miguel Alba, 's Mexico marketing chief.

"Today there are around 7,000 languages spoken around the world, but half of them are expected not to survive to the end of this century," Alba said.

It is hoped that the languages will get an extra dose of energy as users share texts, videos, photos and audio files.

"Generally languages that are threatened are being abandoned by their own speakers as they are not seen as positive and instead opt for another language seen as more economically or socially advantageous, said Francisco Barriga.

But if users see their languages reflected positively in world media they may start taking stock more seriously, of all that can be lost, Barriga said.

Explore further: Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google translates more India languages

Jun 21, 2011

Google on Tuesday expanded its free Internet translation service to include five languages spoken by more than a half million people in India and Bangladesh.

Endangered languages threaten to disappear, researcher says

Jan 29, 2007

Endangered animal and plant species regularly make the news, but another type of endangered species is often overlooked: human languages. A University of Missouri-Columbia researcher has dedicated much of her career to studying ...

'Talking dictionaries' document vanishing languages

Feb 17, 2012

Digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of the world's most endangered languages. Linguists from National Geographic's Enduring Voices project who are racing to document and revitalize struggling languages are ...

Language diversity will make London a true global player

May 10, 2012

Understanding linguistic diversity among London's schoolchildren is key for the city's future as a 'global player', research shows. A study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) mapped the distribution ...

Recommended for you

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

1 hour ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

16 hours ago

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

20 hours ago

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

22 hours ago

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

Aug 21, 2014

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

User comments : 0