Google bids to save 'endangered languages'
Published Jun 21 2012, 16:38 BST | By Mark Langshaw Google
has launched The Endangered Languages Project
in a bid to save historic languages from disappearing.
The website encourages people familiar with said languages to collaborate with one another and develop a comprehensive database of words and phrases.
"Today we're introducing something we hope will help: the Endangered Languages Project, a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about endangered languages," read a joint statement from project managers Clara Rivera Rodriguez and Jason Rissman.
"Documenting the 3,000 plus languages that are on the verge of extinction (about half of all languages in the world) is an important step in preserving cultural diversity, honouring the knowledge of our elders and empowering our youth.
"Technology can strengthen these efforts by helping people create high-quality recordings of their elders (often the last speakers of a language), connecting diaspora communities through social media and facilitating language learning."
Backed by the the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, the scheme aims to provide a single place where linguists can store and access data, and collaborate with like-minded researchers.
Google is hoping that experts in the field will eventually take on the project and build on its framework.