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Stories From the Expeditions

  • Picture of Kalmyk dombra players

    One World, Many Voices Festival

    Experience the vibrant cultural expressions of some of the world's rarest languages in this collection of photos, videos, and more from the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which brought together people from traditional cultures in every region of the globe.

  • Photo: Rebellious youth Seri

    Vanishing Voices Pictures

    By the next century nearly half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear, as communities abandon native tongues in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish. What is lost when a language goes silent?

  • Photo: Speakers of Xyzyl

    NG Explorers Help Record Xyzyl Language

    The Enduring Voices team reports back on the Xyzyl (pronounced “hizzle”) language from the Republic of Xakasia northwest of Mongolia. They will be working with the Xyzyl people to create a talking dictionary and grammar to help them preserve their ancient tongue.



  • Photo: Mr. Dorji Khandu Thongdok, gambura of Thungri village

    Arunachal Pradesh, India Expedition 2011

    Read the full report from the Enduring Voices team's 2011 expedition to Arunachal Pradesh, India, where they visited five endangered language communities.

More Photos and Videos

  • Photo: Sawel Mai u mas Beles bom

    Santa Fe Workshop Digital Stories and Books

    View photos of digital stories and books in different endangered languages from the Santa Fe workshop held in April 2010.

  • Photo: David Harrison, Talo Rija (Apatani language consultant), Gregory Anderson, Ganesh Murmu, Chris Rainier in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

    About Enduring Voices Slide Show

    Indigenous languages are disappearing at an alarming rate, taking with them eons of cultural, ecological, and historical knowledge.

  • Photo: Tonton with Yahay, Tsiyokod, and Othem

    Paraguay Expedition Photos

    In May 2009, the Enduring Voices team traveled to Paraguay, which lies within the Central South America Language Hotspot and has a reported 18 languages (not counting Spanish) belonging to six distinct language families.

  • Photo: Ms.Talim Yame & Mr. Durza Libasow, speakers of the Aka language, Palizi Village, Arunachal Pradesh, India

    India Photo Slideshow 2008

    See photos from the Enduring Voices team's expedition to India in November 2008 and view different words translated into the Aka, Monpa, Nishi, and Sherdukpen languages.

  • Photo: Screenshot from Enduring Voices expedition video

    Expedition Video

    The Enduring Voices Project travels to some of the most remote parts of the world to study Earth's many endangered languages. See a team of intrepid researchers in action in this video of expeditions to Northern Australia and Northeastern India.

  • Photo: David Harrison at Pop!Tech 2008

    David Harrison at Pop!Tech 2008

    More than 3,500 of Earth's 7,000 languages are in danger of extinction. Linguist K. David Harrison discussed the ongoing effort to document and preserve these threatened languages at the 2008 Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine.

Meet the Team

  • Photo: Greg Anderson

    Gregory Anderson, Linguist

    Dr. Gregory D. S. Anderson is a linguist who is director of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the documentation, revitalization, and maintenance of endangered languages.

  • Photo: David Harrison

    David Harrison, Linguist

    K. David Harrison is a linguist and leading specialist in the study of endangered languages. He co-leads the Enduring Voices project at National Geographic and is an associate professor at Swarthmore College.

  • Photo: Chris Rainier, photographer

    Chris Rainier,
    Photographer

    Chris Rainier is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. His life's mission is to put on film both the remaining natural wilderness and indigenous cultures around the globe and to use images to create social change.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

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Living Tongues

The Enduring Voices Project represents a partnership between National Geographic Mission Programs and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.

Talking Dictionaries

  • Image: Tuva flag

    Hear the world's rarest languages for yourself in the Talking Dictionaries that the Enduring Voices Project has created with various communities around the world.

Ethics Statement

The Last Speakers

  • Photo: Cover of "Last Speakers" book

    The Last Speakers

    The poignant chronicle of K. David Harrison’s expeditions around the world to meet with last speakers of vanishing languages.

     

    "The Last Speakers" is now published in Japanese. Read the interview with Dr. Harrison here and purchase the Japanese edition here.

Order the English Edition »