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
-From Irina Bokova’s 2014 IMLD address
(February 2014) Each year on 21 February, UNESCO invites people to recognize and celebrate local languages on International Mother Language Day (IMLD). The theme for this year is “Local Languages for Global Citizenship: Spotlight on Science.” The theme combines a continued focus on multilingual education with the recognition that there is great value in the knowledge that communities have gained over centuries of depending on nature for survival. The Seri community, for example, has a special understanding of the plants and animals of Mexico’s Sonora coast.
SIL staff will participate in the IMLD celebration at UNESCO's Paris headquarters as well as a number of IMLD-related events in locations around the world.
The mother tongue—the language spoken in the home—is used to express a person’s deepest feelings and is the most effective means of communication. For many around the world, the mother tongue is a language shared by a relatively small community, a community facing pressures which make parents and children feel forced to choose between the mother tongue and a more widely-spoken language. Because language and identity are tightly intertwined, SIL recognizes the value of the mother tongue and is committed to supporting communities in ways that allow people to use their languages in new ways to address their changing needs.