Category Archives: Get Involved

Dictionaries for Endangered Languages in Nigeria

Help us publish the first-ever dictionaries for Olùkùmi and Owé 

Nigeria is home to hundreds of languages, many of which are endangered. This project supports two local minority languages, Olùkùmi and Owé (a dialect of Yorùbá). This is first-ever attempt to put the words, definitions and usages of these two languages into print. Contribute to the fundraising campaign. 

These dictionaries are bilingual with English, and each contain 2000 words and phrases. They will become tools for language preservation, promotion and revitalization initiatives, and will serve local speakers, language enthusiasts as well as researchers.

This publication project is led by Nigerian linguist Dr. Bolanle Elizabeth Arokoyo, who holds a PhD in Linguistics, and has been documenting the grammar of Olùkùmi and Owé since 2011. Dr. Arokoyo is a Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. She has collaborated with Dr. Greg Anderson and Dr. K. David Harrison at Living Tongues Institute on the Olùkùmi Talking Dictionary.

Get Involved: International #MotherLanguage Day (Feb 21)

UNESCO’s Mother Language Day is fast approaching; it’s this Sunday, February 21st! The theme this year is “Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes.”
Read more on UNESCO’s website.


International Mother Language Day was founded to promote and celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity around the world, especially indigenous, minority, heritage, and endangered languages. Here are ways to get involved online, and in person.


Tweet #MotherLanguage | In collaboration with other language activism organizations and partners, we invite you take part in this social media campaign. Join other language ambassadors online by tweeting and following the #MotherLanguage hashtag.


Below, we have compiled a selection of events and celebrations taking place in the United States and Canada on February 21, 2016. There are many more happening on an international scale. Please check out International Mother Language Day Events Around the Globe on Facebook to find one in your country.

New York, USA |  The Endangered Language Alliance is co-hosting an event with Wikitongues and the Language Conservancy at the National Sawdust Theater in Brooklyn, New York, this Sunday, February 21st. Join the event here.


If you are in New York, you can also join NYC Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, to celebrate International Mother Language Day at Queens Museum. This celebration will honor the diverse and rich languages spoken throughout our great city, featuring agency and community information tables, spoken word performances, as well as an activity corner with oral history and art. Join the event here.

Oakland, California, USA | The Aikuma Project is hosting a Treasure Language storytelling event in 5 languages for International Mother Language Day. “Each language is shining a little torch somewhere. These are treasures for the whole of humankind.” – Nicholas Evans (Language Matters with Bob Holman, PBS). Join the event here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 4.10.39 PM
Tucson, Arizona, USA | The American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) is hosting a series of events for Mother Language Day, including public displays, panel discussions and film screenings. Learn more on their website.


Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
| Hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University, this event will feature presentations, performances and visual displays of local indigenous and heritage languages, including Hul’q’umi’num’, Cree, Punjabi, Cantonese and Tagalog. The Canadian Language Museum’s newest exhibit, “Cree: The People’s Language” will also be featured. Join the event here.


The Endangered Alphabets Project designed a poster in honor of International Mother Language Day. They write, “As many of you know, the day is especially important to the nation of Bangladesh, where the right to speak their own language was a vital part of their move to gain independence from Pakistan. IMLD was born as a recognition of what are known as “language martyrs”—students who were massacred by the Pakistani Army in 1952 for protesting the right to speak their mother tongue.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 3.50.39 PM

There are more international events listed on these sites:

From everyone at Living Tongues Institute, we hope you have an excellent International Mother Language Day 2016!