Google made a splash yesterday with the release of their Endangered Languages Project. Working with different organisations, Google is creating a space for people to update and share information on more than 3,000 languages on the verge of extinction. While Google is acting as curator, it is depending on a number of organisations for content, with the Advisory Committee being chaired by British Columbia’s First People’s Cultural Council(FPCC).
For the FPCC, this is not their first foray into digitizing endangered languages. In fact, their website describes them as a “leader in the development and deployment of technology-based solutions for Indigenous language reclamation and revitalization”, working toward this goal since their inception in 1990.
It makes sense that the FPCC would be part of such a project, having already released nine dictionary apps of endangered British Columbian indigenous languages for the iPhone. On June 18th, the FPCC released the FirstVoices app, a chat client which provides keyboards for over 100 different indigenous languages, from all over the world. The FirstVoices app is free and available on iTunes, and a full list of FPCC apps is available on their site.