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Google Launches Online Platform for Endangered Languages

by Kathy Jones on July 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM
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 Google Launches Online Platform for Endangered Languages

Information about more than 3,000 endangered languages around the world is now available on a single portal after Google announced the launch of its new information exchange platform for 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.

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"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, Google'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.
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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 speakers instead opt for another language seen as more economically or socially advantageous, said anthropologist 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.





Source: AFP
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