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
SIL serves language communities worldwide, building their capacity for sustainable language development, by means of research, translation, training and materials development. READ MORE >>
SIL’s service is founded on the principle that communities should be able to pursue their social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual goals without sacrificing their ethnolinguistic identity. Though faith-based, SIL limits its focus of service to language development work. SIL does not engage in proselytism, establish churches or publish Scriptures.
Community-based language development involves a series of ongoing planned actions that a language community takes to ensure that its language continues to serve its changing social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual needs and goals.
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Through extensive language survey efforts, SIL is a leader in the identification and documentation of the world's languages. Results of this research are published in Ethnologue: Languages of the World, a comprehensive catalog of the world's nearly 7,000 living languages.
SIL offers training in fields of study that support language development such as linguistics, literacy and multilingual education, anthropology, translation and learner-directed language and culture learning. READ MORE>>
In many locations, SIL has agreements to provide expertise, training or consulting for language development with universities, government departments or local organizations involved in education, development or Christian service.
SIL software supports fieldwork in linguistics and anthropology by streamlining collection, analysis and archiving of language and culture data. SIL facilitates the development of fonts for non-Roman and complex scripts so that language communities and people working with them are able to use their writing systems with technology such as computers and mobile devices.
SIL provides training and technical support for community-based translation of materials such as books and booklets for educational programs, stories related to culture and folklore, health and community development resources and scripture texts. READ MORE>>
SIL serves as an advocate for ethnolinguistic communities, assisting them in raising awareness of their needs to governments, organizations and individuals whose policies and practices can promote and facilitate language development.
Through language research, documentation and promotion of language development, SIL contributes to the preservation of languages and cultures in danger of disappearing.