Tweet in Your Mother Language on February 21

by Eddie Avila | Director of Rising Voices, a project of Global Voices Online

Over the past couple of years, we have seen a boom in the number of communities around the world that blog, tweet, and share other social media messages in their own native languages. We have featured many of these initiatives on Rising Voices as a way to highlight the inspiring work of others using citizen media to revitalize their languages.

Finding this increased diversity in online content makes it more likely that more people can see their culture and language reflected in online conversations and on digital platforms that they already use on a regular basis. With more young people connecting with others in their native tongues, this participation can also play a major role in building the next generation of speakers of endangered or indigenous languages.

February 21 marks International Mother Language Day (IMLD), providing an ideal opportunity to recognize and encourage those that are using online digital media to revitalize their native languages.

Please join Rising Voices, Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, The Endangered Languages Project, and Indigenous Tweets to help celebrate IMLD through a Twitter campaign to highlight those already tweeting, and encourage more people to tweet in their mother language.

Here is how you can participate:

1) On Friday, February 21, tweet in your mother language about why it’s important to use your native tongue in citizen media.

2) You may also want to follow that tweet with a translation so that more people following along can read your message.

3) Important: add the following hashtags to your tweet:

  • #imld14 (International Mother Language Day 2014)
  • #(the name of the language you are writing in), for example #cherokee #bambara #xhosa

4) Follow along the hashtag #imld14 to see messages from around the world and retweet to help amplify their messages. You may also wish to follow along the hashtag of your language to connect with others that you may not already know.

5) Help someone else get started on Twitter by assisting them by to sign up here so that they can begin tweeting.

We will be featuring many of these tweets throughout the day at @risingvoices. Please join us!

Thanks for reading.


Launching New Site on Endangered Languages With Google!

Along with many other organizations, we have collaborated with Google to launch a new website:

“The Endangered Languages Project” is an online resource to record, access, and share samples of and research on endangered languages, as well as to share advice and best practices for those working to document or strengthen languages under threat.

Our language documentation videos from our Youtube channel are prominently featured throughout the site. On the site’s main page, a picture of Koro speaker Abamu Degio is featured. The picture was taken by Living Tongues researcher Jeremy Fahringer.

The languages included in this project and the information displayed about them are provided by the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), produced by the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The Linguist List) at Eastern Michigan University.

Follow us on Twitter as @livingtongues to see our posts about the many media articles coming out about this new site!