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Indigenous Language Champions

Indigenous Language Champions Image
Raised toward our $2,500 Goal
11 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 30, at 11:59 PM HST
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Indigenous Language Champions

Help three Indigenous language champions get the equipment they need to record their languages, and keep them strong!

Everyone deserves the tools they need to keep their languages alive - so let's help Josephat, Ana, and Peter get the equipment to do it!

The Endangered Languages Project, a partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the First Peoples' Cultural Council, is raising funds to provide high-quality recording equipment to ELP's summer 2022 Language Documentation Training Fellows.

They've been building their skills and training in language documentation, making recordings of their communities, languages, and cultures with the best equipment they have: their cell phones. And while they've been doing amazing work, they could create much better materials if they had high-quality recording equipment: a good audio recorder, a quality microphone, and maybe even a real video camera.

Learn about these fantastic language champions in their own words:

There are more than 7,000 languages in the world today, but almost half are at risk of being silenced. Language is so much more than just words or grammar - it's how people pass on their knowledge, express their unique worldviews, show their identity, and encode their wisdom.

But there's hope! Language champions - people who record, promote, and revitalize their languages - are keeping their languages strong. This work shouldn't be only for the people who can afford fancy equipment. Everyone deserves to have the technology they need to fight for their language.

Join us on October 1 at 11am HST for the Documentation Fellows Showcase, and check out the work they've already done making recordings of their own languages! With your support, they'll be able to create even more materials to keep their languages strong for future generations.

Our fundraising goal will let us provide each Language Documentation Fellow with:

  • A Zoom H4n Pro recorder - the same top-notch recorder used by professional linguists and audio technicians
  • A Vidpro condenser lavalier microphone - for quality sound recordings, even in noisy settings like the beach, the village, or a busy marketplace
  • Rechargeable batteries for the recorder - so they don't have to create battery waste, especially in their home communities, where there aren't battery recycling programs
  • A 32GB SD memory card for the recorder - letting them record up to 23 hours of language at a time, with high-quality audio
  • Shipping directly to their homes in Nigeria, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands - where it's very difficult to buy this kind of equipment

If we exceed our fundraising goal, excess funds will go towards getting each Language Documentation Fellow a video camera. Language is so much more than what we hear - it's also in how we gesture, make facial expressions, and move while we're communicating!

Plus, being able to record video of places, faces, dances, clothing, and more is so crucial to creating cultural materials for future generations. Video recording, along with high-quality audio, is the best way to make records of language and teach it in the future.

With your support, we'll be able to get these language champions what they need to fight for their languages.