Similar Projects

1. Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) Under Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore :

The scheme instituted by the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India in 2013 aims to document the country’s  languages that are endangered and also those that are extremely vulnerable and may soon become endangered in the near future. The Central Institute of Indian Languages(CIIL) in Mysore, Karnataka, through its ‘Centre of Language Documentation’ works towards monitoring and implementing the scheme with the assistance of various universities and institutes of India. The agenda is to document the grammar, dictionary and ethno-linguistic profiles of around 500 lesser known languages in the future and of these 117 languages have already been listed for documentation. Currently, the ongoing research is targeting  34  such languages. As the mapping of Indian states has been linguistically determined, this scheme has divided India into 6 zones to be able to effectively identify endangered languages in every zone and work towards their documentation. The scheme hosts a dictionary portal from where one  can download the dictionary app for a particular endangered language. On 13th July 2019, to mark the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of CIIL, the Hon’ble Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu released 12 dictionaries, one each for 12 endangered languages. These languages are Diranga, Gahri, Gutob-Gadaba, Hakkipikki, Lamkang, Malayan, Manda, Sanenyo, Siddi, Soliga, Bhunjia and Bondo.

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CFEL/CEL or Centre for Endangered Languages are research units in nine Central Universities of India, funded by The University Grant Commission.

The CFEL of Visva Bharati University located in Shantiniketan, Birbhum is the nodal centre. The Centres are an Initiative by UGC to protect the dying languages in India via field surveys, research, and Language Documentation. The other universities in this initiative are Central University of Karnataka, Central University of Kerala, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in Madhya Pradesh, Guru Ghasi Das University in Chhattisgarh, Central University of Jharkhand, Tezpur University in Assam, Rajiv Gandhi University in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim University. 

The main objective of CFELs is to incorporate Interdisciplinary research to protect the Endangered Languages from extinction. The study includes researchers from Anthropology, Folklore, Sociology, Field Linguistics, Literature and other related subjects. The Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) was instituted by the Ministry of Education (Government of India) in 2013 and they have divided Endangered Languages into five zones namely Northern zone, North East zone, East Central zone, West Central zone and Southern zone. The work of CFELs are mainly focussed on these zones.

3. Linguistic Survey of India

  • The primary objective of the present Linguistic Survey of India is to present an updated linguistic scenario.
  • It will also provide necessary inputs to the social/educational planners in respective States for their planning to attain the envisaged goals.
  • The Census of India has been the richest source of language data collected and published at the successive decennial censuses for more than a century.
  • Mother tongue is the language spoken in childhood by the person’s mother to the person. If the mother died in infancy, the language mainly spoken in the person’s home in childhood will be the mother tongue.
  • The presentation of the language tables has been progressively improved in terms of lucidity, detail to make it more comprehensible besides being user-friendly.

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4. Initiative B@bel (under UNESCO)

Under UNESCO’S  Communication and Information arm, this initiative aims to improve upon the linguistic and cultural diversity that exists on the Internet. In order to promote preservation of languages that are dying and also many others that don’t find adequate expression in the electronic environment, this initiative utilises Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) to promote multilingualism on the Internet. The initiative encourages cooperation among various institutions to expand the existing languages in the digital space and create content in languages other than the 12 major global languages. The initiative supports pilot projects and development of multilingual content management tools and resources to achieve its objective of multilingual knowledge creation in cyberspace which will allow universal access and participation in knowledge creation and consumption.

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5. UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

This resource is paramount among ‘language endangerment’ resources to learn about the world’s languages facing the threat of extinction and the general importance of the need to preserve the linguistic  and cultural diversity of the world. The recent edition of the Atlas published in 2010 by UNESCO Publishing lists around 2,500 languages out of which 3,000 languages are considered to be facing the threat of extinction. Since 1950, the world’s linguistic landscape has already lost around 230 languages. The atlas is available in both print and online versions with information such as the name of the endangered language, its degree of endangerment as well as the country or countries where it is spoken. The online version has additional information also such as number of speakers, important policies, ISO codes and geographical coordinates. The Atlas is free-to -access, interactive and allows for regular updation due to feedback from users.

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6. The Endangered Languages Project (ELP)

The Endangered Languages Project puts technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront the 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 as well as language resources being provided by partners, but also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio or video files. In addition, users will be 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 project transitioned to First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the Institute for Language Information and Technology at Eastern Michigan University. The project is now managed by First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the Endangered Languages Catalogue/Endangered Languages Project (ELCat/ELP) team at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in coordination with the Governance Council.

This project is being guided by an active Governance Council and Advisory Committee that bring diverse perspectives, talents and commitments to the project. Membership is by invitation only. Current Governance Council members are:

  • Faith Baisden, First Languages Australia
  • Lyle Campbell, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
  • Craig Cornelius, Google, Inc.
  • Tracey Herbert, First Peoples’ Cultural Council
  • Gary Holton, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
  • Veronica Grondona, Eastern Michigan University
  • Daniel Kaufman, Endangered Language Alliance
  • Mary S. Linn, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution
  • Oliver Loode, Uralic Centre for Indigenous Peoples
  • Kevin Lowe, Australian Indigenous Languages Institute
  • Emmanuel Ngué Um, Archive of Languages and Oral Resources of Africa

In Bangladesh, they are working on the following TEN endangered languages:

·  Bawm Chin [aka Bawm, Banjogi, Bawng]

·  Bishnupuriya [aka Bishnupriya,Bisna Puriya, Bishnupria Manipuri]

·  Garo [aka Garrow, Mande]

·  Koch [aka Koc, Kocch, Koce]

·  Koda [aka Kora, Kōḍā, Kaora]

·  Mru [aka Murung, Mro, Mrung]

·  Pani Koch [aka Banai, Wanang]

·  Pankhu [aka Pankho, Pankhua, Pang Khua]

·  Riang (India) [aka Reang, Kau Bru, Tipra]

·  Sauria Paharia [aka Malto, Malti, Maltu]

In Nepal, there are SEVENTY endangered speech communities on which the ELP works:

·  Athpariya [aka Athpare, Rai, Athapre]

·  Bahing [aka Bhojpuri, Khaling, Rai]

·  Bantawa [aka Kiranti, Rai, Bantawa Rai]

·  Baram [aka Barhamu, Brahmu, Bhramu]

·  Belhariya [aka Belhare, Athpariya, Athpahariya]

·  Bote-Majhi [aka Kushar]

·  Byangsi [aka Byangkho Lwo, Byasi, Byanshi]

·  Camling [aka Rai, Rodong, Chamling]

·  Chantyal [aka Chentel, Chantel, Chhantel]

·  Chaudangsi [aka Bangba Lo, Bangbani, Chanpa Lo]

·  Chepang [aka Tsepang, Chēpāng, Tśepang]

·  Chhintange [aka Chhintange, Teli, Chintang Rûng]

·  Chhulung [aka Chilling, Chɨlɨng, Chulung]

·  Chukwa [aka Cukwa Ring, Pohing, Pohing Kha]

·  Darai

·  Darma [aka Darmiya, Darimiya, Sauka]

·  Dhanwar [aka Dhanvar, Danuwar Rai, Danuwar]

·  Dhimal [aka Dhīmāl]

·  Dolpo [aka Phoke Dolpa, Dolpa Tibetan, Dolpike]

·  Dumi [aka Rai, Dumi Bo’o, Dumi Bro]

·  Dungmali [aka Dungmali Pûk, Dungmali-Bantawa, Arthare]

·  Eastern Gurung [aka Gurung, Gurnung, Eastern]

·  Eastern Meohang [aka Rai, Newang, Newahang]

·  Gamale Kham [aka Kham, Proto-Kham, Khamkura]

·  Gyalsumdo

·  Helambu Sherpa [aka Sherpa, Yholmo, Yolmo, Yohlmo]

·  Jerung [aka Jero, Jerum, Jerunge]

·  Jirel [aka Ziral, Jiri, Jirial]

·  Kaike [aka Tarali Kham]

·  Khaling [aka Rai, Kaling, Khalinge Rai]

·  Kharia [aka Haria, Kharvi, Khatria]

·  Koi [aka Koyu, Kohi, Koyi]

·  Kulung (Nepal) [aka Rai, Khulunge Rai, Kulu Ring]

·  Kumhali [aka Kumhale, Kumbale, Kumkale]

·  Kusunda [aka Kusanda, Kusūndu]

·  Lepcha [aka Lapche, Lapcha, Rong]

·  Lhomi [aka Lhoket, Shing Saapa, Kath Bhote]

·  Limbu [aka Yakthung Pan, Limbo, Lumbu]

·  Majhi [aka Manjhi]

·  Manange [aka Manang, Manangba, Ngyeshang]

·  Nachering [aka Nachereng, Nacering Ra, Nachering Tûm]

·  Nar Phu [aka Nar-Phu, Narpa]

·  Nepali Kurux [aka Kurukh, Oraon, Kurux]

·  Northern Lorung [aka Lohorong, Lohrung, Lohrung Khanawa]

·  Nubri [aka Kutang Bhotia, Larkye,]

·  Puma [aka Puma Pima, Puma La, Puma Kala]

·  Raji [aka Rajibar]

·  Raute [aka Rautye, Harka Gurung, Khamchi]

·  Saam [aka Rai, Saam Rai, Samakha]

·  Sampang [aka Rai, Sampange Rai, Sangpang]

·  Seke (Nepal)

·  Sherpa [aka Sharpa, Sharpa Bhotia, Xiaerba]

·  Sonha [aka Sonaha, Sonahaa, Sunah]

·  Southern Ghale [aka Gurung, Galle Gurung, Ghale]

·  Southern Yamphu [aka Lohorong, Lohrung, Lohrung Khap]

·  Sunwar [aka Sunuwar, Sunbar, Sunwari]

·  Surel

·  Syuba [aka Shuba, Shyuba, Kagate Bhote]

·  Thakali [aka Tapaang, Thaksya, Panchgaunle]

·  Thangmi [aka Thami, Dolakha, Thāmī]

·  Thulung [aka Rai, Thulunge Rai, Thulu Luwa]

·  Tilung [aka Tiling, Tilling, Tilung Blama]

·  Tsum [aka Tsumge]

·  Walungge [aka Olangchung Gola, Walungchung Gola, Walung]

·  Wambule [aka Umbule, Chaurasya, Tsaurasya]

·  Wayu [aka Hayu, Vayu, Wayo]

·  Western Gurung [aka Gurung, Tamu Kyi, Gurnung]

·  Western Mewahang [aka Rai, Newang, Newahang]

·  Yakha [aka Yakkha, Yakkhaba, Yakkhaba Cea]

·  Yamphu [aka Rai, Yamphu Rai, Yamphu Kha]

In Pakistan, in their estimate, the following TWENTY-SIX languages are facing threat of extinction:

·  Aer

·  Balti [aka Sbalti, Baltistani, Bhotia of Baltistan]

·  Bateri [aka Bateri Kohistani, Batera Kohistani, Baterawal]

·  Bhadrawahi [aka Bradrawah, Baderwali, Badrohi]

·  Bhaya

·  Burushaski [aka Mishaski, Brushaski, Burushaki]

·  Chilisso [aka Chiliss, Galos, Dardu]

·  Dameli [aka Damēlī, Damel, Damedi]

·  Domaaki [aka Dawudi, Dumaki, Dumākī]

·  Gawar-Bati [aka Gawar-bātī, Narisātī, Narsātī]

·  Gowro [aka Gabaro, Gabar Khel, Dardu]

·  Jad [aka Bhotia, Dzad]

·  Kalami [aka Baškarīk, Gāwrī, Gārwī]

·  Kalasha [aka Kalasa, Kalashamon, Kalash]

·  Kati [aka Bashgali, Kativiri, Nuristani]

·  Khowar [aka Khowār, Citālī, Čitarī]

·  Ormuri [aka Ormari, Warmaro, Oormuri]

·  Phalura [aka Palūla, Palola, Dangarīk]

·  Purik [aka Purigskad, Burig, Purig]

·  Savi [aka Sawi, Sauji, Sau]

·  Spiti Bhoti [aka Spiti, Spitian, Piti Bhoti]

·  Torwali [aka Torwālī, Turvali, Dardu]

·  Ushojo [aka Ushuji, Dardu]

·  Wakhi [aka Guhjali, Wakhani, Wakhigi]

·  Yidgha [aka Yudgha, Yudga, Yidga]

·  Zangskari [aka Zanskari, Zaskari, Zangs-dkar]

There are TWENTY-THREE such languages in Afghanistan:

·  Ashkun [aka Ashkund, Ashkuni, Wamayi]

·  Gawar-Bati [aka Gawar-bātī, Narisātī, Narsātī]

·  Grangali [aka Glangali, Nangalāmi, Nigalāmi]

·  Ishkashimi [aka Ishkashmi, Ishkashim, Eshkashimi]

·  Kati [aka Bashgali, Kativiri, Nuristani]

·  Khufi [aka Khuf, Chuf,]

·  Mogholi [aka Moghol, Mogul, Mogol]

·  Munji [aka Munjani, Munjhan, Munjiwar]

·  Ormuri [aka Ormari, Warmaro, Oormuri]

·  Parachi

·  Parya [aka Asiatic Romany, Afghana-Yi Nasfurush, Afghana-Yi Siyarui]

·  Prasuni [aka Wasi-Wari, Prasun, Veruni]

·  Rushani [aka Rushani, Rushan, Oroshani]

·  Savi [aka Sawi, Sauji, Sau]

·  Shughni [aka Shugnan-Rushan, Shighni, Khugni]

·  Shumashti [aka Šumāštī, Shumasht, Dardu]

·  Tajiki Spoken Arabic [aka Tajiki Arabic, Jugari, Bukhara Arabic]

·  Tirahi [aka Tirāhī, Dardu,]

·  Tregami [aka Trigami, Tregāmī, Gambīrī]

·  Waigali [aka Kalasa-alā, Waigalī, Wai-alā]

·  Wakhi [aka Guhjali, Wakhani, Wakhigi]

·  Wotapuri-Katarqalai [aka Wotapūrī-Katāqalāī, Wotapuri, Dardu]

·  Zemiaki [aka Zamyaki, Jamlám basa,]

FIFTEEN languages of Bhutan are similarly on the radar:

·  Brokkat [aka Brokskad, Jokay]

·  Brokpake [aka Mira Sagtengpa, Dakpa, Brokpa]

·  Chalikha [aka Chali, Tshali, Chalipkha]

·  Chocangacakha [aka Maphekha, Rtsamangpa’ikha, Tsagkaglingpa’ikha]

·  Dakpa [aka Dakpakha]

·  Gongduk [aka Gongdubikha, Gongdue Kha,]

·  Khengkha [aka Khenkha, Khen, Keng]

·  Kurtokha [aka Gurtü, Kurtopakha, Kürthöpka]

·  Lakha [aka Tshangkha]

·  Lepcha [aka Lapche, Lapcha, Rong]

·  Lhokpu [aka Lhobikha, Taba-Damey-Bikha]

·  Nupbikha

·  Nyenkha [aka Henkha, Lap, Mangsdekha]

·  Olekha [aka Monpa, Ole Mönpa, ‘Olekha]

·  Takpa [aka Dwags, Dakpa, Northern Monpa]

 If we leave out the Sign Language, Sri Lanka has the least number (only TWO) endangered Languages:

·  Sri Lanka Malay [aka Sri Lankan Creole Malay, Melayu Bahasa, Java Jati]

·  Veddah [aka Veda, Vedda, Veddha]

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7. Internationalised Domain Names (UNESCO-ICANN)

To achieve its objective of a multilingual Internet, UNESCO has partnered with international organisations such as the International Telecommunications Union(ITU), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In its UNESCO-ICANN agreement, the objective is to internationalise the Internet with the creation of new Internet Domain Names (IDN’s) using scripts that were not available earlier to create domain names. Under this initiative, the Indian scripts have now been accepted by ICANN in 2020, as worked out by NBGP, or its Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel under the joint chair of Dr Ajay Data, Prof Udaya Narayana Singh and Dr Mahesh Kulkarni.

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8. Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI), under Bhasha Research and Publication Centre:

One of the centre’s key initiatives is the Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India that started in 2010 by the centre’s Founder Prof G.N. Devy, to identify, understand and document the state of Indian languages, especially endangered languages. The survey is motivated to strengthen foundations of a multilingual and multicultural Indian society, to arrest the extinction of linguistic, cultural and biological diversity of India that has been nurtured by speech communities over generations. The survey has been initiated by the centre and partially funded by Jamsetji Tata Trust, Mumbai. Around 90 state-wise volumes covering 780 languages in India have been published under the survey. Behind documenting these minority and often endangered languages, the primary motivation, as expressed by Devy himself in an interview given to Mint (click here to read the interview) is to promote survival of speakers of these languages and protect their livelihoods.

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  1. Creation of Digital Corpus of Tribal Music in 2007 under which digitization and documentation of tribal music of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and many more states of India.
  1. Tribal Visual Archives, 2011 which is a website containing images, videos, audios of tribal communication and documentation of related activities.
  1. Bhasha brought out Purva Prakash publications in 19 non-scheduled languages that are Rathwi, Garasia, Chaudhari, Dungri Bhili, Panchmahali Bhili, Kukna, Gamit, Wanjhari, Madari, Naiki, Bhantu, Ahirani, Dehwali, Gor Banjara, Pavri, Chattisgarhi, Garhwali, Khasi, Kinnari, Mizo, Saora and Warli. The remarkable feat in these publications is that many languages in these had no tradition of writing earlier. 

9. HELP for Endangered Legacy Collections, under Linguistic Society of America (LSA)

 This  is a project sponsored by the Committee on Endangered Languages and   their Preservation (CELP) from LSA and led by Kate Lindsey (  and Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada ( This initiative is based on digitizing and archiving existing legacy collections of endangered language data. The recent initiative not only looks after the need to sort existing data but also compensate for current times when new data collection is nearly impossible.

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10. ‘Language Revitalization Programs’ under Wikitongues

The organization is helping out a cohort of five activists in launching and accelerating their own language revitalization initiatives in their respective communities. Guided by its Language Revitalization Toolkit, Hangi Bulebe (Goma, D.R. Congo) is revitalizing his mother tongue Kihunde through creating educational programs in the language. Similarly, Bintou Camara (Conakry, Guinea) is revitalizing her language Nalu by creating and distributing first-ever children’s literature in the language. Through the process of collecting, translating and archiving, Kamran Ali is making his contribution to save his language that is Wakhi. Windy Goodloe (Brackettville, U.S.) with the help of resources provided by Wikitongues is galvanizing support from her community to revitalize her ancestral language i.e. Afro-Seminole Creole. The fifth language activist, Sonya Rock (Prince Georgia, Canada) is also steadfastly working towards growing the revitalization movement for her language Gitxsanimaax with the support and guidance provided by Wikitongues. 

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11. Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL), UK

FEL/Foundation for Endangered Languages is an organisation that supports, enables and assists the documentation, protection and promotion of endangered languages. It offers financial assistance to support the documentation of endangered languages. With a view to pursue its mission it aims at raising awareness of endangered languages through all channels and media, monitor linguistic policies and practices; offer financial assistance and training.

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12. African Academy of Languages

It is the official Website of the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) which was founded in 2001, after the Mission was announced on December 19, 2000 by the then President of the Republic of Mali, HE Alpha Oumur Konare.

The Mission became the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) in January 2006, when its statutes were adopted by the Sixth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the African Union, as a specialised institution of the African Union.

ACALAN is entrusted with the task of developing and promoting African languages so that they can be used in all domains of the society in partnership with the languages inherited from colonisation: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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13. National Science Foundation & National Endowment for the Humanities Initiatives

NSF/National Science Foundation This multi-year funding partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports projects to develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages. It aims to exploit advances in information technology, and  support fieldwork and other activities relevant to recording, documenting, and archiving endangered languages, including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases. 

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14. GBS

The GBS is a non-profit organization that provides funding for the preservation, documentation and maintenance of endangered languages and dialects to either individuals or organizations.

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15. Endangered Languages Fund

The ELF (Endangered Language Fund) is a non-profit organization that supports endangered language preservation and documentation projects through grants to individuals, tribes, and museums. ELF has already funded eleven projects in eight countries, including projects focused on teacher training, documentation, phonology, development of a writing system, fieldwork and so on.

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16. Glossika

Glossika is a language learning platform that provides resources for learning also features a world map that indicates the geographical location and vitality of various languages. However it includes all languages, not only endangered ones. 

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17. ‘Our Mother Tongues’ Project

Our Mother Tongues focuses on Native American endangered tribal languages. Its main goal is to raise awareness about these languages and about the urgency of saving Native languages. It does so through articles, recordings, and films about what communities are doing to preserve and revitalize their languages.  

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18. Volkswagen Foundation

This website offers information about the Volkswagen Foundation which takes initiatives to contribute towards the preservation of endangered languages through supporting and funding documentation activities. The organization offers funding to documentation projects which collect, process and archive linguistic and cultural data for endangered languages. The Foundation can provide funds only to academic institutions, but not to individuals.

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19. Australian Government Initiative

This website of the Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts offers information about the initiatives of the Government to maintain indigenous languages and records.

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20. A Universite Laval Initiative from Quebec, Canada

This website presents linguistic situations in 354 states and autonomous territories in 194 officially recognized countries. The website is browsable by countries or regions, by language, by people or by type of linguistic policy.

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21. A Puerto Rico Initiative

This website, hosted by the Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Boriken (Puerto Rico), provides links to information on Native American Indian languages.

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22. Sacred Earth Network Project

This is the website of Sacred Earth Network supports projects working towards preservation and teaching endangered Native languages. It provides grants to individuals and from non-profit organizations working on endangered languages.

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23. The EBLUL Initiative

This is the website of The European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL). It provides a database of regional and minority languages of the European Union.

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24. A Transparent Languages’ Heritage Program

 It is a non-profit organization that works with the endangered language organizations with teams of linguists and language experts to determine the organization’s needs. It is followed by training to create online language courses using Transparent Language’s technology.  The organization has created courses or 13 languages. The program began in 2009as Transparent Language’s Heritage and Endangered Languages Preservation Program (H.E.L.P.P).

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25. Living Tongues Institute

This is a website detailing the activities of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. The mission of the Institute is to ensure language survival for generations to come. It promotes the documentation, maintenance, preservation, and revitalization of endangered languages worldwide through linguist-aided, community-driven, multimedia language documentation projects. Its initiative includes digital “talking dictionaries” in six endangered languages and the full-scale documentation of this ‘hidden’ language of Koro Aka. It publishes scientific studies, run digital training workshops to empower language activists and collaborate with communities to create language resources that will serve as a basis for language revitalization.

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26. National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, USA

It is the website of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages.The organization represents the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) in the United States. This website is designated to address the communication and information needs of the members of the NCOLCTL as well as those of other organizations, and individuals interested in the teaching and learning of the LCTLs in the US.

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27. The IIE

This website provides the information about the activities of the Institute of International Education the IIE which is a non-profit organization. It promotes international education programs including language exchange programs. It has implemented more than 200 international exchange programs benefitting over 30,000 people from 185 countries.

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28. The DOBES Data Archive

The database DOBES, hosted by the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen (Netherlands), one of the research institutes of the German Max Planck Society, consists of a data archive covering sound material, video recordings, photos, and various textual annotations. The DOBES Archive contains language documentation data from a great variety of languages from around the world that are in danger of becoming extinct. This portal gives access to the material in the archive and provides information about the DOBES endangered languages documentation programme.

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29. A CNRS Initiative

An Endangered Languages Documentation initiative from CNRS, Paris under PAN-GLOSS Archive that contains over 200 documents in 44 languages, annotated by some twenty specialists.

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30. The CultureTrip Initiative, Mexico

There are as many as 281 different indigenous language variations spoken in Mexico today, according to Ethnologue, an organization that provides a linguistic profile of the world. Many non-governmental organizations and initiatives are determined to prevent them from dying out. The CultureTrip provides all the information that you need to know on a Mayan language like Mocho’ with only 141 speakers, or Oluteco at Veracruz spoken only by the community elders, Kiliwa of Baja California Peninsula and many others.

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31. National Multilingual Education Resource Consortium(NMRC) Under Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, JNU

 NMRC funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) is a project that is known to be a resource-cum-research facility. It envisions to promote Multilingual Education in India, particularly for tribal children and children of other linguistic minorities in India. By promoting mother tongue development in these children, the Centre envisions to strengthen their cultural-linguistic identity. Heading the initiative are Prof. Minati Panda and Prof. Ajit K. Mohanty from the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, JNU, working as Director and Chief Advisor for the project respectively. Eminent personalities in India and abroad, from govt. and non-govt. bodies are working as important contributors to the consortium. NMRC is playing a strong role in providing all the necessary value-added resources to the ongoing Multilingual Education(MLE) programmes in India and also running various research projects that are inclined towards growth of quality MLE in India.

Read more: Under the web-portal

32. A Project Report on “Others” in a Cityspace

Language Use and Attitude: A Sociolinguistic Survey of ‘non-Bengalis’ in Kolkata

A Report from the University of Calcutta on a UGC Major Project (2007-2014)

Language Use and Attitude:

A Sociolinguistic Survey of ‘non-Bengalis’ in Kolkata

A Major Research Project conducted from 2007 – 2014 with the funding of the University Grants Commission

The main objective of this interdepartmental project, conducted in the Department of Linguistics, University of Calcutta (PI: Prof Aditi Ghosh (Linguistics), Co-PIs: Prof Mina Dan (Linguistics), Prof Bula Bhadra (Sociology), was to study the effect of dominant language in the lives of the various non-dominant speech communities of Kolkata. In particular, it aimed to —

  1.  Study the frequency of usage of Bengali, English and Hindi as well as the respective mother tongues among the ‘non-Bengali’ speakers in Kolkata.
  2. Observing the distribution of these languages in different domains.
  3. Determination of relative status and prestige of these languages in Kolkata for the selected population.
  4. Evaluating implications of the linguistic trend.

The data collected for this project consists of 495 interviews lasting 45 minutes on an average. In addition, a pilot survey was conducted on 50 University students making it a sample of 545 with 18 different language backgrounds.

The results of the survey are published in several papers and book chapters. A selected list of publications is given below —

  1. ‘Language Attitude: A Study of Diasporic Communities in Kolkata’ chapter published in Bangla and Other Indian Languages: Linguistic and Cultural Relations by International School of Dravidian Linguistics, 2021
  2. ‘Kolkata and Bengali for the ‘others’: A Sociolinguistic Analysis’ in the Journal of the Asiatic Society, volume LXI, no 4, pp. 19-42, 2019 journal issue
  3. ‘Nationalism as a Threat to Multilingualism’ in the Bulletin of the Department of Linguistics no.21 pp 53-71, 2019 link ; link
  4. ‘Language and the Nation: A Survey Report from Kolkata’ in the Aligarh Journal of Linguistics, Volume 8 pp-15-45, 2018, link ; link  ;  journal webpage
  5. ‘On Language Attitude’ in the Bulletin of the Department of Linguistics no.20 pp88-98, 2017 Link; link
  6. ‘Language Maintenance and Shift in Migration: A Case study of Bhojpuri in Kolkata’ in Language Contact: A Multidimensional Perspective (ed.Kelechwua Ihemere). Cambridge Scholar Publishing: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2013 publisher’s page; amazon page
  7. Bhojpuri as a non-dominant variety of Hindi’ published in Non-dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture (ed. Rudolf Muhr). Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main-Berlin-Bern-Bruxelles-New York- Oxford-Wien. 2012; DOI:  publisher’s page; amazon page

33. ELCat

A Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), led by teams at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Eastern Michigan University, with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. Work on ELCat has only just begun, and we’re sharing it through our site so that feedback from language communities and scholars can be incorporated to update our knowledge about the world’s most at-risk languages. For more information, please visit the Department of Linguistics or the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature

Jason Rissman, Strategic Partnership Manager, commented: “The efforts of the linguists at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, along with EMU, to create the Catalogue of Endangered Languages and bring more awareness to the push to describe and strengthen endangered languages is well-aligned with our mission to make information accessible to as many people as possible. We consider the Catalogue a central part of the Endangered Languages Project. We are very excited about the Catalogue of Endangered Languages research project, which has great potential to ignite and sustain unprecedented progress in language documentation and conservation on a global scale.”

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34. Alliance for Linguistic Diversity

The Endangered Languages Project, backed by a new coalition, the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, gives those interested in preserving languages a place to store and access research, share advice and build collaborations. People can share their knowledge and research directly through the site and help keep the content up-to-date. 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.

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. Members of the Advisory Committee have also provided guidance, helping shape the site and ensure that it addresses the interests and needs of language communities. The Endangered Languages Project puts technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront the 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 as well as language resources being provided by partners, but also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio or video files.

Google has played a role in the development and launch of this project, but the long-term goal is for true experts in the field of language preservation to take the lead. As such, in a few months we’ll officially be handing over the reins to the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The LINGUIST List) at Eastern Michigan University. FPCC will take on the role of Advisory Committee Chair, leading outreach and strategy for the project. The LINGUIST List will become the Technical Lead. Both organizations will work in coordination with the Advisory Committee.

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35. First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC)

The Project provides resources as templates for protocol documents for projects involving linguists, anthropologists, or other academics who may wish to do research in aboriginal communities. These templates are intended as a starting point for them to work from to develop one’s own protocol documents. The contributing organizations include: Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre and the Language Revitalization In Vancouver Island Salish Communities.

For further information on protocols for language projects, check out the Australian Guide to Community Protocols for Indigenous Language Projects.

An Indigenous researcher’s perspective is provided by Linda Tuhiwai Smith of the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education, in her book “Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples”, ISBN: 1-85649-623-6

Research Evaluation Checklist
A suggested checklist of questions for evaluating research proposals that will involve researchers interviewing or working with elders and community members. You may want to consider these and other questions before you decide to approve a researcher’s proposed project.

Guidelines for Researchers
A suggested set of guidelines to make sure that the relationship between visiting researchers and host aboriginal communities is fair, open, and clearly documented. If you adopt these guidelines, or a modification of them, researchers should be made aware of them as soon as they approach you about a potential research project.

Sample Contract between an aboriginal community or organization and a researcher or institution.

Sample Memorandum of Understanding between an aboriginal community or organization and a researcher or institution.

36. Global Oneness Project, California

The aim is to create stories, ideas and lesson plans for language revitalization activities. They believe that stories play a powerful role in education. Founded in 2006 as an initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation, they aim to plant seeds of empathy, resilience, and a sacred relationship to our planet. Using stories as a pedagogical tool for growing minds, they bring the world’s cultures alive in the classroom. Committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues, they offer a rich library of multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and essays. Companion curriculum and discussion guides are also available. Their lessons facilitate the development of students’ critical thinking, inquiry, empathy, and listening skills and contain an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The curriculum resources are available in both English and Spanish and are aligned to National and Common Core Standards.

The Global Oneness Project’s films and lessons have been featured on National Geographic, PBSThe AtlanticThe New York TimesThe New Yorker, TED Ed, and the Smithsonian, among others. Their educational resources are being used in diverse settings, from public to independent schools, nationally and globally. They are located on the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok people of present-day Marin County. 

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