A New Way to Explore the World

For years the Enduring Voices team has helped communities around the world to preserve their culture by preserving their language. A key element to that has been recording individual speakers and cataloguing translations of their various words and phrases. Many of those collections have then been made accessible to the community online, to serve as a resource to help them teach their native language to the new generation, who all too often would otherwise grow up learning only the regionally dominant language.

Several of these communities are now offering the online record of their language to be shared by any interested person around the world. While you probably won't walk away from these Talking Dictionaries knowing how to speak a new language, you will encounter fascinating and beautiful sounds--forms of human speech you've never heard before, and through them, get a further glimpse into the rich diversity of culture and experience that humans have created in every part of the globe.

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Explore the Talking Dictionaries

  • Image: Tuva flag

    Tuvan

    Tuvan is a Turkic language spoken in the Republic of Tuva in south-centeral Siberia and is the first language to be recorded for a Talking Dictionary.





  • Photo: Stylized heart painting

    Ho

    Spoken in India by around one million people, traditional script in Ho cannot yet be typed on computers. Although its use is not considered to be in serious decline, the language is under-documented and therefore little known to the outside world.

     

     

  • Photo: Emblem featuring salmon, river, forest, and mountain

    Siletz Dee-Ni

    Siletz Dee-Ni is an Oregon Athabaskan language, very similar to Navajo, spoken by Siletz tribes once local to northern California through southwest Washington.

  • Photo: Papua New Guinea flag

    Matukar Panau

    Prior to 2009, Matukar Panau had been neither written nor recorded. This Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea has only 600 speakers who live in just two small villages.

  • Photo: The Chamacoco flag

    Chamacoco

    A Zamucoan language spoken in the Paraguayan Chaco, Chamacoco is used by a traditionally hunter-gather society that has now turned to agriculture.

  • Photo: Carving of a peacock

    Remo

    Remo is an Austro-Asiatic language spoken by the Bonda people of India that is increasing endangered and, unti recently, undocumented.

  • Photo: A carving of a man on an elephant

    Sora

    Though a comparably larger (300,000 speakers) tribal language, Sora is a threatened minority language of eastern India.

  • Image: Nasa yuwe

    Indigenous Languages of Latin America

    Over a dozen indigenous communities—from Colombia, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Bolivia, El Salvador, Paraguay and Mexico—are currently working with Enduring Voices Project and Living Tongues Institute to begin building their own Talking Dictionaries (under construction).

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

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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 »