Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership Formed to Produce Next-Generation Technology-Based Learning Materials for Endangered Athabascan Languages of Alaska
Transparent Language donates world-class technology to the 7000 Languages Project to benefit under-supported languages
Nashua, New Hampshire and Fairbanks, Alaska, May 29, 2014 - Transparent Language, Inc. and the Doyon Foundation today announced the launch of the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership. The goal of the partnership is to create leading-edge software for the teaching and learning of the Athabascan languages of Alaska's Doyon region, which encompasses approximately 12.5 million acres in Interior Alaska.
The Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership is the latest initiative of Transparent Language's 7000 Languages Project. With approximately 7,100 living languages in the world today, the goal of the 7000 Languages Project is to create world-class web- and mobile-delivered learning materials for the 7,000 languages beyond the top 100 or so that attract significant commercial support.
The technology for the 7000 Languages Project is donated by Transparent Language, but the passion and expertise for each project is brought together by regionally-focused 7000 Partnerships, of which the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership is the latest.
The Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership is an initiative of the Doyon Foundation, a private, Alaska-based nonprofit working to strengthen language and culture within the Doyon region. "Providing cultural opportunities and a strong demonstration of Native traditional language and culture is at the core of Doyon Foundation's mission and vision," said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director. "This partnership will enable us to make significant strides toward the revitalization of our Native languages, which is critical for their survival."
The 7000 Partnership also responds to a directive from the people and entities of the Doyon region to develop computer-assisted language-learning tools that support the preservation and revitalization of the region's languages.
Transparent Language develops transformational language-learning and teaching software for serious language schools and programs in the US government and elsewhere. "We do deep work in less-common languages because our customers need to respond quickly and effectively to humanitarian crises or conflicts anywhere in the world," says Michael Quinlan, CEO of Transparent Language. "The same technology is perfect for creating powerful learning software for the world's under-resourced languages, so we created the pro bono 7000 Languages Project to meet that need."
There are nine Athabascan languages in the Doyon region: Benhti Kenaga' (Tanana), Deg Xinag, Denaakk'e (Koyukon), Denak'i (Upper Kuskokwim), Dinjii Zhuh K'yaa (Gwich'in), Han, Holikachuk, Tanacross, and Née' aaneegn' (Upper Tanana). The Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership will initially focus on one or two of those and later extend to the remaining languages. Potentially the partnership could evolve to include additional Alaska Native languages.
About Doyon Foundation
Doyon Foundation was established as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 1989 by Doyon, Limited, the regional Native corporation for Interior Alaska. As the private foundation for Doyon, Limited, the Foundation serves the educational and cultural needs of Doyon's shareholders and their children by providing postsecondary scholarships, advancing traditional Native knowledge, and increasing Native student performance levels. In 2012, Doyon Foundation launched the Language Revitalization Program, a comprehensive, region-wide program to capture, preserve, share and perpetuate Athabascan languages. The need for the program is clear: According to the Alaska Native Language Center, there are less than 500 speakers of the nine Athabascan languages in the Doyon region, and most have fewer than 30 speakers. For more information, visit www.doyonfoundation.com.
About Transparent Language, Inc.
At Transparent Language, we leverage our expertise in technology, learning, and language to build innovative language-learning and teaching software for use by US Government agencies and organizations, as well as hundreds of public libraries, thousands of schools, and millions of individuals. We are serious about language learning. We care about all languages, regardless of commercial value. We believe that language is the heart of culture. We believe that technology needs to have transformational impact on all courses and curricula, not just a few courses offered by the vendor. It needs to benefit not only individuals, but entire programs and communities. We believe that great language technology not only changes the user experience; it transforms the economics, logistics and reliability of language learning. Transparent Language is headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA. Visit them on the web at www.transparent.com.
About the 7000 Languages Project
The 7000 Languages Project is a charitable initiative that makes world-class language-learning and teaching technology available to the experts and advocates of languages of limited commercial interest. Transparent Language, Inc. donates the technology to and trains technologists of "7000 Partnerships", such as the NCOLCTL 7000 Partnership (African languages), the BasaBali 7000 Partnership (Balinese), and the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership (Athabascan languages), which select and support language teams creating materials in a particular language. More information at www.transparent.com/about/7000-languages-project.html.