Every language in the world: Introducing Wikitongues

Wikitongues is a movement for human rights. Together with speakers and signers of every language in the world, we’re building the most inclusive cultural archive ever made, raising awareness about linguistic diversity and rallying to defend it.

We’re a non-profit organization and volunteer community from around the world, which I launched and helped shape based largely on my experiences as a long-time member of the Global Voices community. Since Wikitongues started, we’ve recorded more than 300 oral histories in over 180 unique languages, working slowly but surely towards our goal of documenting and sharing all humanity’s 7,000 mother tongues.

However, while watching videos of speakers and signers is a great way to get introduced to other cultures, it only scratches the surface. We want to go beyond raising awareness about 7,000 languages by helping people learn them all. That’s why we’re building Poly: open-source, modern software that makes it easy for anyone to share their languages by creating translation dictionaries using text and video.

Poly will be an invaluable tool for members of the Wikitongues community; a new, fast method for more thorough documentation opens doors for more in-depth access to a person and their linguistic community. Moreover, Poly stands to be an important tool for the more than 3000 communities worldwide facing challenges in the preservation of their languages.

Over the next two week, I’ll be sharing stories about different language communities from around the world, stories about why we’re making Poly.

If you like Wikitongues and believe in our work, please consider making a pledge to us on Kickstarter. We can only continue with your support, and every dollar counts.

Thank you, gràcies, faleminderit, አመሰግናለሁ, + 7000 more :)

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