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This looks cool. Wikitongues is documenting and trying to revitalize endangered languages.

"Add your mother tongue to our seed bank of language diversity. Add videos, audio recordings, or text documents. "

wikitongues.org

@TranslateScience I've really loved this project since I found them earlier this year. Really cool, and I appreciate having access to these recordings.

@meena @TranslateScience They don't seem to be associated, not directly at least. There may be some people that work for both, but none of the people whose institution is mentioned has SIL as their institution.

This seems to be an associated organization, also there I couldn't find any prominent mention of SIL. livingtongues.org

@meena @TranslateScience Wow. I've been thinking of SIL like I've thought of some corporate open source, ok, they have their purposes, they translate and print some bibles, but the public gained cool multilingual fonts and a good font license from it too, so it's a win-win.

But that "Criticisms" section forces me to reconsider that view. "In the SIL view, ethnocide is not a valid concept" is an astonishing statement.

Of course, calling it "Summer Institute of Linguistics" when it's an aggressive missionary project is underhanded to begin with.

@TranslateScience That's interesting, and they also have Esperanto!

@TranslateScience @alcinnz Interesting idea. What do indigenous language activists think of schemes like this? Would they trust it enough to give their language away to outsiders, no matter how well-meaning? How would they make the link between repositories like this and the daily, person-to-person interactions necessary to keep a language alive? I like the proposal to train language activists - there must be success stories to learn from. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a museum of dead languages.

@pkboi @TranslateScience That is a question!

I do know there is some trepidation...

@alcinnz @pkboi @TranslateScience
Like this?

"An American teenager who doesn’t speak Scots wrote many of the encyclopedia’s entries. Now Wikipedians are figuring out what to do."

slate.com/technology/2020/09/s

@yaaps @alcinnz @TranslateScience I read that at the time. Cracked me up. Gotta admire the kid’s gall.

@pkboi @alcinnz @TranslateScience
His dopa seeking "wan agley," as they say

Assuming that this project sticks to gathering source materials, is able to gain access to unencumbered sources, and avoids closing the loop when ML adopts the material as a training corpus, it would be great

For a less trivial example of how this can go wrong, there are many cases of amateur linguists who didn't will their orthographies to the people whose languages they studied and professional linguists who didn't think through the implications of using the same orthographies in peer reviewed journals that they developed with native speakers. Gathering written materials in encumbered orthographies could result in the retrenchment of those scripts to the detriment of unencumbered alternatives

There probably won't be enough harm to prevent this from being a net positive, but it would feel better coming from Project Gutenberg than Wikipedia

@yaaps @alcinnz @pkboi @TranslateScience Scots is hardly endangered though, it has official minority language status, and 100k+ speakers means something like 90% of all languages have fewer speakers.

Anyway, about the request for successful stories, the link to the video about the Jewish Language Project at the bottom of the Wikitounges page seems to fit the bill.

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