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Stories about Language

Digital discourse: How going online is keeping Kadazan and other indigenous languages alive in Borneo

"The indigenous languages don’t have to stay in dusty cabinets. We can use technology to have our languages and cultures available online."

Should there be Shona-language versions of Google and social media sites? This Zimbawean technologist says yes

"Native speakers should be at the forefront of researching and producing these tools as they better understand their own language."

For stateless and scattered Tibetans, a new online tool helps voters make an informed choice

The reliable online platform, created by a group of Swiss Tibetans, allows candidates and voters to communicate effectively, and although it overcame some challenges, others are work in progress.

Ghanaian digital activist pushes for more online visibility for the Dagbani language

Sadik Shahadu: "Even though there are offline Dagbani resources and learning materials in most public libraries in some schools from the north, getting access to them is somehow difficult."

Digital resources are the key to saving the ‘definitely endangered’ Nepalbhasa language

Community efforts recently led to the launch of an online dictionary containing close to 30,000 entries, making it the largest repository of linguistic data for the Nepalbhasa language to date.

Can the Eurovision Song Contest change Russia's views on migrants from Central Asia?

Russia has nominated Tajik-Russian singer Manizha as its representative for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. But many Russians reject her as the chosen face of their country at the international...

The watchtower on the mountain of Dagestan's indigenous languages

Kaitag, a language variant of the Dargwa family, is spoken in Dagestan's mountainous villages, but has a limited digital presence. Digital activists like Magomed Magomedov are working to change this.

The Laz people's mission to save their language from extinction

There could be anything between 30,000 to 200,000 speakers of Lazuri, the language of the modern Laz people. The majority of them still live in the historical region of Rize, in...

Taking the Laz language online, one project at a time: An interview with Eylem Bostanci

Global Voices spoke with Eylem Bostancı, a project coordinator at the Laz Institute, an Istanbul-based organization dedicated to promoting the Laz language and culture.

Global Voices to collaborate with UNESCO on a digital activism toolkit for promoting languages online

A new Rising Voices-UNESCO project will be co-designed with networks of language digital activists to share best practices and strategies to overcome existing challenges.

Updating Uyghur: The power of online discussions for language preservation

Though spoken by over 10 million people, the Uyghur language is struggling to adapt to modern life and overcome heavy censorship and language elimination in China

Lost and found: The struggle to preserve Nepal's linguistic heritage

Parents insist on proficiency in Nepali or English in school to ensure good job prospects for their children; at least 24 indigenous languages in Nepal have become ‘endangered.’

Nearly six centuries after his birth, who owns Alisher Navoiy, the ‘father of Uzbek literature?’

February 9 marks the birth anniversary of a 15th-century Afghanistan-born poet who championed Turkic heritage, and became a national literary symbol in Soviet and later independent Uzbekistan.

China shuts down its most popular piracy website—is it just about copyright?

Netizens wonder whether the crackdown had something to do with Xi Jinping’s ideological battle against "Western values."

El Salvador project illustrates the ‘invisible’ African roots of common Latin American words

To celebrate 'Salvadoran Afro-Descendant Month,' we illustrated some of the many words of African origin in the Spanish of El Salvador.

Want to learn to curse like a Russian? There's an Instagram account for that

A Russian journalist and a Canadian comics artist have teamed up to create an online Russian-English dictionary celebrating the richness of Russian profanity on Instagram.

COVID-19 infects Japan's ‘kanji of the year’

密 (mitsu), in some cases, means "close, crowded, or confined."

Combating misinformation in under-resourced languages: Lessons from around the world

A recent webinar explored how underresourced language communities may be at a disadvantage to tackle misinformation and access media literacy resources.

To revitalise their ‘severely endangered’ language, Gitxsan internet users get creative

The Indigenous Gitxsan language is under siege, but by harnessing the very technology that threatens to erase it, one Facebook Group, Gitxsan Got Talent, is renewing interest in the language.

During the Cold War, Latin American intellectuals found solace in communist Prague

After World War II, Latin America had authoritarian, US-backed anti-communist governments. Facing repression at home, writers found refuge in communist Prague, in a story little-known in today's Czech Republic.

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