Communities developing resources and competencies for using their languages
Foundational understanding for language development work of all kinds
Publications, fonts and computer tools for language development, translation and research
SIL offers training in disciplines relevant to sustainable language development.
7,105 languages are spoken or signed. CLICK for map of world languages & regional websites.
SIL's dedication to language development past and present
Language and Culture Documentation preserves language and culture data in support of linguistic vitality, cultural identity, and stewardship of heritage resources.
As a result of an increasingly interconnected world, many languages and associated cultural practices are being lost. This undermines the identities of the communities involved, often resulting in social problems locally. A second negative consequence is the loss to humanity—including anthropological and linguistic scholarship—of the unique contribution the knowledge and perspectives of these communities might otherwise bring.
To address this on-going loss, a collaborative language and culture documentation team—comprised of local community members and interested outsider(s)—collects a corpus of digital audio and video recordings which are representative of the community’s linguistic and cultural practices. These recordings are analyzed and processed to make them accessible by both community members and outsiders. Then the entire corpus of recordings and accompanying access materials is submitted to an international language and culture archive, thereby contributing to the availability and long term preservation of this legacy for multiple users and purposes.