International Map of Languages

Screenshot 2014-04-03 22.47.42Sandy Ritchie from SOAS, University of London, is collaborating in a project to create a new online world to celebrate languages and help protect rare and endangered languages. They are creating a world map online that will show the spread of languages through the recordings uploaded by individual speakers from all over the world.  A great idea!

The Language Landscape website is accessible now, since the end of March 2014, to all speakers of all languages. This is a great opportunity to connect together speakers of endangered languages, it may actually give them a chance to fight against extinction. But even if it doesn’t succeed protecting those rare languages that are on the brink of extinction, at least it will help leave a spoken record of that language, that all linguists know it is a very valuable tool when dealing with dead languages.

This project by SOAS is a great way of showing a practical application of the study of language. Maybe in future mathematicians and sociologists will be able to use this map of languages and the changes that undoubtedly will occur to have a better idea of how human societies evolve through language.

Languages is not just a tool that we use to communicate, but it is influenced by cultural expectations and constructs, and as such it influence individual speakers. So, being a bilingual speaker does not just mean speaking two languages, but begin a carrier of the cultures and concepts of two separate societies. It’s a strange, yet exciting concept!

So, why not contributing to this international map of languages, and upload your own recording. Future generations may use in to study the pattern of human migrations in the 21st century, you may just become part of history!

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