The language activist cohort

We’re helping activists kickstart their language revitalization projects

If you’re a linguist or linguist-in-training and would like to volunteer as an advisor or mentor, please write to hello@wikitongues.org.

Around the world, people are reawakening ancestral languages—but despite a global groundswell of language revitalization, the vast majority of endangered languages remain unsupported. With only a few hundred known language revitalization initiatives and as many as 3,000 languages at risk, there is so much still to do. Skeptics might point to this fact as evidence of waning interest in linguistic diversity. However, at Wikitongues, one of the more common questions we receive is, “How do I save my language?” In other words, people want to keep their languages alive, but they don’t always know where to start.

Earlier this year, we partnered with the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages to publish the Language Sustainability Toolkit, a primer on the process of language revitalization: identifying what your language needs and developing an actionable plan to make that happen. Now, we’re building a cohort of rising language activists who are on the cusp of launching revitalization initiatives. Over a 12-month period, we will work with each of them to make measurable progress toward language sustainability in their communities, based on the Toolkit’s open-ended framework.

So far, we’ve committed to working with four people from Guinea, the D.R. Congo, Pakistan, and the United States; and our goal is to work with ten people over the course of 2021. If you represent a nascent language revitalization and would like to join our language activist cohort, please write to hello@wikitongues.org.

How you can help

If you're a linguist, linguist-in-training, or former linguistics student, you may be able to volunteer your time as an advisor or mentor to a rising language activist. If you are able to donate technology, especially computers and recording equipment like cameras or microphones, you have the potential to make a big impact. Please send all inquiries to hello@wikitongues.org.

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