Over 40% of the world’s 7,000 languages are at risk of disappearing. Working with Google.org and the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, we built a web tool that brings together the world’s knowledge on this topic to highlight the jeopardy facing over 3000 languages in the coming years.
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.
The main part of the website is an intuitive, interactive map that allows users to explore languages by location, threat level or number of speakers.
We used Django and several techniques to build a high-performance front end to deal with a large audience.
Latest activity and other social features recognise and promote user contributions to documentation.
This platform addresses language endangerment by documenting, preserving, and teaching endangered languages. The Alliance for Linguistic Diversity is a multi-organizational, international body which oversees the Endangered Languages Project, which it co-founded with Google. With the help of Exygy, we were recruited to design and develop the website.
The technical challenge involved designing a user-friendly tool that caters to diverse user groups, including expert linguists, language speakers, and global volunteers. This required transforming complex academic documentation into an engaging and meaningful format while adhering to metadata standards like OLAC. The outcome is a robust and scalable website containing comprehensive information on over 3,000 endangered languages. Registered users have the ability to improve existing entries, correct inaccuracies, and contribute new language samples and documents, fostering collaborative preservation efforts.
This platform welcomes feedback from language communities and scholars worldwide to continually update information about the world's most endangered languages, making it a dynamic and evolving resource. If you have some translated text, a voice recorder or a camera, you can also upload pieces of these languages through our simple upload feature, preserving the language before it’s too late. Doing the hard technological work to make it easy to take action is what Vizzuality does.