7,000 languages are spoken and signed today, but 3,000 languages could disappear in a generation, erasing half of all cultural, historical, and ecological knowledge. Language extinction is not inevitable. People abandon mother tongues because they’re forced to — by economic exclusion, political oppression, and violence.
However, Language revitalization is possible. With the right resources, adults can reclaim their ancestral languages, teach their children, and raise new native speakers, keeping their cultures alive. By making this process accessible on a global scale, we can reverse the trend of language extinction and safeguard humanity’s collective heritage.
In 2021, Wikitongues directly supported language activists on three continents, accelerating the revitalization of the Afro-Seminole Creole language of the United States and Mexico, the Kihunde language of D.R. Congo, and the Nalu language of Guinea. Now, we’re opening this support up to the public.
In partnership with the J.M. Kaplan Fund, we’re launching a language revitalization accelerator: each year, rising language activists will be able to apply for financial support, technical training, and strategic guidance as they work to keep their languages alive. By 2025, this will help reawaken 75 at-risk languages. (If you want to apply, please sign up and we’ll notify you when applications open.)
If you agree that everyone should have the resources to pass their culture on to the next generation, please join us this Giving Tuesday and make a donation, if you can. Your contribution will support free archival services, training, and revitalization grants for language activists around the world.