For years the Enduring Voices team has helped communities around the world to preserve their culture by preserving their language. A key element to that has been recording individual speakers and cataloguing translations of their various words and phrases. Many of those collections have then been made accessible to the community online, to serve as a resource to help them teach their native language to the new generation, who all too often would otherwise grow up learning only the regionally dominant language.
Several of these communities are now offering the online record of their language to be shared by any interested person around the world. While you probably won’t walk away from these Talking Dictionaries knowing how to speak a new language, you will encounter fascinating and beautiful sounds–forms of human speech you’ve never heard before, and through them, get a further glimpse into the rich diversity of culture and experience that humans have created in every part of the globe. [source]
These Talking Dictionaries were created by the Enduring Voices Project funded by the National Geographic Society and Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. Additional support and hosting by Swarthmore College.
On March 19, 2012, a segment titled “Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life”
segment played on NPR’s All Tech Considered.
Or you can read a transcript.