On Thursday, Google launched its new Endangered Languages Project which aims to preserve and revive some 3,000 languages that are dying out around the world, including Irish Gaelic.
On the official Google blog, project managers for the Endangered Languages Project, Clara Rivera Rodriguez and Jason Rissman, write that the new initiative is backed by the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity.
“Documenting the 3,000+ languages that are on the verge of extinction (about half of all languages in the world) is an important step in preserving cultural diversity, honouring the knowledge of our elders and empowering our youth,” the managers said in the blog.
Included in the some 3,000 languages is Irish Gaelic, of which Google reports there are less than 20,000 native speakers, mainly adults, worldwide. Google categorizes each of the languages into endangered, severely endangered and vitality unknown; Irish Gaelic is considered endangered.
Through the Endangered Languages Project website, users are encouraged to upload audio, video and documents that can help preserve and promote the struggling languages. Google is also reaching out to diaspora communities and encouraging them to get in touch with one another to share language learning.
As Journal.ie reports, the Royal Irish Academy has also created an online resource which aims to help preserve old dialects of the Irish language. The online digital archive features Antrim, Tipperary and Tyrone Irish and was originally recorded between 1928 and 1931.
Check out Google’s promo video for the Endangered Languages Project: