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Stories about Language

13 September 2017

Automatic Speech Recognition Project Seeks to Revitalize the Quechua Languages

Rising Voices

Can you imagine computers, smartphones and robots that speak Quechua? A Peruvian engineer’s work aims to do just that.

25 August 2017

How to Save Languages from Dying, and What I Learned While Documenting My Own

The Bridge

Half of the world’s languages are dying, but we can help preserve the age-old cultural heritage contained in them by documenting the languages around us in digital form.

13 August 2017

Tata Genaro Ramírez: The Farmer Who Revived the Nawat Language in El Salvador

Rising Voices

Genaro inspired a new generation of Náhuat teachers, he launched the enthusiasm for the documentation of the language, broke taboos, and made the language known in El Salvador.

5 August 2017

Think You've Mastered Tongue Twisters? Try Them in Lezgi!

Rising Voices

While widely spoken in the Caucasus, Lezgi is an endangered language. But YouTube users are doing their best to save it.

14 July 2017

Ethiopian Musicians Charged With Terrorism for ‘Inciting’ Song Lyrics

Global Voices Advocacy

In the face of government repression, Afan Oromo musicians have risen as a visible -- and audible -- source of inspiration for the opposition movement.

11 July 2017

Notimia, a News Agency That Gives Voice to the Indigenous and Afro-Descendant People in Mexico

Rising Voices

"It is necessary for your own voice to be heard, for you to speak for yourself."

9 July 2017

The More India's Ruling Party Pushes the Hindi Language, the More Indians Oppose It

"We are not saying no to Hindi...[the] question should be why 'only' Hindi."

7 July 2017

The Fraught Relationship Between Ethiopia's Capital City and Largest State

A bill seeks to redress historical injustices inflicted on the Oromo people since the establishment of the capital Addis Ababa inside their state. Does it go far enough? Too far?

5 July 2017

‘En Mi Idioma’ Allows Colombian Indigenous Communities to Contribute Online Language Lessons

Rising Voices

"...for many years we have been and continue to be an oral-based culture, but as a survival strategy we consider that it is important to build a written code."

The Internet Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Revitalizing Tasmania's Aboriginal Language

Rising Voices

During British colonization of Tasmania which began in the early 1800s, the Aboriginal people living on the island located to the south of Australia’s mainland not only suffered loss of life, but also loss...

19 June 2017

Fake News Twists Hong Kong Airline Hostesses’ Refusal to Wear Chinese Name Tags

Chinese media portrayed the refusal as another example of Hong Kong-mainland tension. In reality, it was about privacy.

9 June 2017

What YouTube Comments on Two Cover Songs Reveal About the Irish and Sámi Languages

Rising Voices

The music videos for popular songs translated into minority languages can create spaces for joy, solidarity, and pride—as well as scorn, social divisions, and nationalism.

8 June 2017

There Are 23 Indian-Language Wikipedias. The Oldest Just Turned 15.

The Bridge

It has yet to be included in Google Translate, but Odia was the first Indian language to make an appearance on Wikipedia, 15 years ago.

7 June 2017

In Ethiopia, Authorities’ Reshuffling of the Oromo Language Alphabet Touches a Nerve

"This is yet another fraud perpetrated on the Oromo people and it must be rejected."

A Storytelling Initiative Aims to Preserve Urban Linguistic Diversity

Rising Voices

"What is it like to speak to an audience that is not understanding your language?"

28 May 2017

Lost in Translation in Central Asia: My Tokol's Car Is a Toyota

A Kyrgyz or Kazakh man's 'younger wife' is like 'a cow without horns'. She suffers social stigma and enjoys few rights.

26 May 2017

‘Untranslatable’ Blog Shines a Light on the Unique Vocabulary of Small Languages

Rising Voices

Do you know what "vakasteglok" in the Mwotlap language means? How about "kwadi" in the Hunsrik language?

25 May 2017

Kaqchikel and Other Guatemalan Languages Gain Momentum Online Thanks to Digital Activism

Rising Voices

The Digital Activism Meeting for Indigenous Languages took place in Guatemala and brought together important initiatives for the visibility and strengthening of Mayan languages through technology.

23 May 2017

A Wikipedia Made for—and by—the Atikamekw First Nation in Canada

Rising Voices

An ongoing project, funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, is working with the Atikamekw community to develop Wikipedia content in their own language.

22 May 2017

Diaspora* and Other Free Software Are Available in the Occitan Language, Thanks to Volunteer Translators

Rising Voices

"I don’t like when people decide that one language has more value than another. In my opinion, every language is as equal as the next."

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