Revitalise Endangered Languages
support our endangered language projects
Every two weeks a language dies. We’re creating free Lingogo stories in endangered languages to help people who want their language and culture to live.
We’re working toward a social enterprise model that will allow us to do more on this together asap. For now, the best way to support these projects is to read and listen to them!
MĀORI PROJECT #1
’The Ana Series’
10 x 1,000-1,500 word stories
Funded by: Te Māngai Pāho
When Ana moves up to Auckland to stay with her aunty for university the whole whānau is in for a series of surprises.
Release date: Available now.
MĀORI PROJECT #2
10 x 200-250 word stories
Funded by: Te Mātāwai
It’s a disaster at the town fair. Maisy the prize-winning sheep has gone missing. But who would do such a thing? Turns out a number of ppl have their motives.
Release date: Nov 2019
Let’s talk nitty-gritty. What’s the point?
First we need to understand two things:
What language is - language can’t be separated from culture. Our language and culture dictate the way we see the world and how we draw meaning from life. Language defines our spirituality, our beliefs, our voice, our purpose, and our identity.
Endangered languages haven’t been ‘lost’, they’ve been actively taken by force. Yep that pretty much sums up the concepts of marginalisation and oppression.
And what the current situation is:
As a result of losing their language many people in minority cultures are suffering. Despite efforts (because they needed to survive - sometimes literally), it turns out assimilation into an alien culture is not a smooth road. Across the globe indigenous cultures are sitting at the bottom of socio-economic, health, employment, and education stats.
So, the point of helping to revitalise endangered languages?
To improve the lives of people whose languages are endangered. Research says that when indigenous people learn their ancestral language they’re more likely to be successful in life.
To improve the lives of everyone else. Just like losing the bengal tiger would be a huge blow to our ecological biodiversity, losing a language sucks for the world’s cultural and linguistic diversity. Huge amounts of knowledge are forever lost - words, ideas, concepts, and stories that could benefit us all greatly (and probably solve climate change).
but in this world of globalisation
aren’t we just becoming a big mix anyway?
Yes we’re much closer to our neighbours now. Yep, we’re borrowing words. Yep, we’re eating foods our great-grandparents might never have heard of. And as we learn more about each other and our world changes around us, some of our cultural practises are changing to suit.
That’s all good and part of natural cultural and linguistic development, but we still have our differences and we always will.
Globalisation isn’t about extinguishing our differences until we become one big boring cloney people-clump. It’s about creating closer intercultural relationships that celebrate those differences. It’s about creating a world of acceptance, understanding, equality, and co-operation.