June 22, 2012, 11:04 AM —
There are nearly 7,000 languages in the world today. Tomorrow, that number may be down to 3,000.
Saving languages "on the brink of extinction" is the goal of the Endangered Languages Project, launched by Google. Aiming to help preserve cultural diversity, Google believes technology and communications can be harnessed effectively. Long term, the project will be placed with two programs at Eastern Michigan University.
Google is seeding the project and hopes to link interested organizations together. The National Science Foundation is already funding some program that will be pulled in to the Google project. Small groups of academics have been fighting this battle for years, and this new push should bring a higher profile and more resources to their efforts to save dying languages.
Good for Google
What a great idea! Good luck with it.
MiddleClassWorker on theglobeandmail.com
Bravo Google! Languages are a precious legacy and a rich heritage of human evolution and their diversity is a milestone and landmark for our odyssey out of Africa.
bodomar on theglobeandmail.com
Pull the plug
Sorry to say it but just like with architecture not everything can be or should be preserved.
SlowChurn on theglobeandmail.com
Am I the only one who thinks that language extinction is a good thing? Especially in the case of those smaller languages that only a few speak.
Aizmov on arstechnica.com
Archaeo-linguistics is a fascinating discipline and has filled in many of the historic gaps left by a lack of material culture.
el_segfaulto on arstechnica.com
...so archeological finds with writings on them can be translated and so linguists can understand how different cultures developed their languages to find similarities and differences.
BC2009 on theverge.com
Think where we would be without the discovery of the Rosetta Stone? It is always important to document something before it is gone...
danstl on arstechnica.com
Do you speak more than one language? If so, do you think saving your native language is important?