Category Archives: Language Revitalization

Nice article in NYT today about the Record-a-thon

Behind the scenes at the Internet Archives PhraseFarm test recording session

A great article about our upcoming Record-a-thon event just came out in the New York Times this morning.
Here’s the link:
A Chance to Record Some of the 112 Local Languages

This is really wonderful press for a project we are quite excited about.

I’ve always been fascinated by other languages and yet have never been able to discipline myself to learn another language besides English with any fluency. Despite years of French, my most passable second language is Spanish (which I speak like a not very intelligent 2 year old). Regardless, little snippets of languages I’ve picked up over the years have been so important to me. Saying “itadakimas” before eating, or “hi!” when you want to emphatically agree with someone as they speak has become woven into my vernacular.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all share each other’s poignant, wise, deeply felt expressions and take them into our own communications as we move through life?

This has been a driving force behind Mightyverse.

Imagine being able to say, “Wow, that’s extraordinary, thank you!” or “I love cheese!” in all 7000+ languages spoken today.

With community based language recording efforts by the Rosetta Project, Internet Archives (and in our small contribution, Mightyverse) that has some chance of becoming possible.

We can’t think of better partners in the social mission side of Mightyverse than The Rosetta Project and The Internet Archives. The Record-a-thon tomorrow is going to be a really fun start to that collaboration.

Many thanks to the event sponsors, organizers and supporters, including Dr. Laura Welcher of The Rosetta Project, Brewster Kahle, founder of The Internet Archives, and Elizabeth Lindsey, keynote speaker.

Stay tuned to see the recordings post event!


Mightyverse used on a pilot project to support Hawaiian revitalization

Then There Were None Documentary FilmThe co-founders of Mightyverse came together to work on Mightyverse out of a love of language. It’s heartbreaking that of the 7000 or so languages spoken throughout the world today, some believe that over half of them could be extinct on a practical level by the end of this century. We are hopeful that Mightyverse has the potential to help in the global effort to revitalize endangered languages, and this is a big part of what drives us to make Mightyverse useful to the world. It’s hard to imagine, but with approx. 1000 fluent speakers and less than 10,000 active speakers, Hawaiian is on the list of endangered languages that could conceivably die out over the next 100 years.

Needless to say, this would be a tremendous tragedy for the world.

Fortunately there are very good efforts going on to grow the speaking community, including immersion schools, television programs and passionate individual efforts. And yet the resources on the web to answer the question “How would I say that in Hawaiian?” are still fairly limited. We are extremely excited to have worked with National Geographic Fellow, Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey, on a project to record Hawaiian phrases into Mightyverse. We are currently at 109 phrases and hope to grow that number with the help of other native speakers. Stay tuned as we work to develop a collection of Hawaiian language that can be useful for people who want to have Hawaiian language and culture live on through them!

Here’s a fun place to start – some great Hawaiian phrases to practice.

A short video interview with Dr. Lindsey on her project with Mightyverse.

(see a trailer and learn more about Elizabeth’s film Then There Were None here)