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
A survey was completed of the Tenda languages of Senegal. The two goals of the survey were to determine the degree of lexical difference between Tenda varieties and to determine how the people feel about their language and culture. The mother tongue remains the most used, and preserving it in written form appears important to all. Still, in certain domains the mother tongue gives way, almost entirely, to other languages for trade or for reasons of prestige. The strength of other languages in these domains does not, however, seem to diminish the overall use of and the preference for the mother tongue on a day-to-day basis. The lexical comparison concludes that the lexical similiarity of the Tenda varieties is much less than 60 percent; thus, each of the four varieties is a language in its own right. The recommendation is to establish a language development program in each Tenda language.
[In the interest of making this work available without further delay, we are posting it as it was written. It has not been subjected to further review.]