Transparent Language H.E.L.P. Program
Heritage and Endangered Languages Preservation Program
As a company dedicated to teaching others about the diverse languages and cultures of our world, Transparent Language has a unique perspective. While we are a commercial company that needs to earn a profit, we also try our best to give something back to the language community. Our Heritage and Endangered Language Preservation (H.E.L.P.) Program is one of the ways in which we do that.
When a member of an organization (usually representing the heritage community), who is both capable and interested in leading a project, reaches out to us, we try to work with that person and organization to enable it to happen. Once qualified, prospective H.E.L.P. partners work alongside Transparent Language, using our linguistic tools and language technology to publish learning material that can then be distributed in the Transparent Language Online learning system, on CD-ROM, for mobile devices (iOS and Android), and even for use on SCORM-compliant Learning Management Systems. Transparent Language then provides our H.E.L.P. partners with a license to distribute the end resulting programs.
We have always been committed to adding languages to our product offering, regardless of how remote or active the language may be. Our CEO, Michael Quinlan, puts it this way: "We live in an age of global interaction. No language is so small that no one needs to learn it. If we could, we would provide learning material for all 7,000 languages in the world."
Current H.E.L.P. Partners
The ultimate goal of GIM is to produce language products that are so widely used that indigenous people develop a common speaking base. GIM hopes to see people getting together to study with their software products. As a nonprofit enterprise, GIM is set up to share, for the cost of training, their expertise in using this software with any indigenous nation that finds it useful. GIM has already seen some interest from other indigenous groups and hopes to get much more.
In this excerpt from a February 14, 2009 press release: Using Computers to Learn and Preserve Indigenous Languages, Transparent Language, explains how it provided its software tools and training free of charge to the nonprofit organization Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia (GIM), founded by Mary Hermes and her husband Kevin. The organization’s mission lies in developing curriculum materials especially designed to teach Ojibwe and other First Nation languages. Ojibwe is currently the third most widely taught indigenous language in North America after Navajo and Cherokee.
The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC), established in 1999, was given a mandate by the Chiefs of Manitoba to provide second and third level education services to fifty-five First Nations schools in Manitoba. The MFNERC facilitates a community education process based on First Nations’ needs, priorities, and education plans. The MFNERC is actively involved in promoting community development by providing training and coordinating opportunities for families and other community members.
As part of this effort, the MFNERC has worked with several First Nations groups to develop language-learning material for use in Transparent Language’s Byki learning system. This effort has resulted in the publishing of Byki software programs for learning Cree, Dakota, and two dialects of Ojibwe. The programs are made available to First Nations schools and community groups in Manitoba by the MFNERC. For more information contact MFNERC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BASA: Balinese Language Preservation Corp is a 501©(3) organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to bring together experts on Balinese language and culture to create the first multimedia language materials for spoken Balinese and the endangered Balinese script and to more generally promote the use and understanding of Balinese.
BASA Bali’s volunteer team of Balinese linguists, writers, actors, videographers and others are working to create courses, supplemental vocabulary and general cultural information to help preserve and promote the Balinese culture and language. Transparent Language is very pleased to support this effort. To see some of the work being done visit http://basabali.org/flashcards/