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All the Words in the World: Help Build Our Linguistic Database in Honor of MLK

Here at the PanLex Project we are working to build a massive database of all of the words of all of the world’s languages—a weighty and...


Here at the PanLex Project we are working to build a massive database of all of the words of all of the world’s languages—a weighty and ambitious goal, given that there are as many as 7,000 different languages spoken on Planet Earth, and many, many dialects among them.


We are also up against the reality that languages are disappearing at the rate of about one language every two weeks. Can we help create a record of them in time before they are gone forever? Or can we create a better environment for use of many different human languages worldwide that encourages their survival? We are trying to do both.

One of our big challenges is finding new sources of translations, especially for less commonly spoken languages. Sometimes we are able to find these in print or online dictionaries, which we then carefully convert and format so that we can add them to the collection. But we expect there are many, many, more that we have never encountered or have even heard of. And across the whole GOOD community there are probably lots of people who speak or know languages for which we have few translations (or know other people who do).

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the United States as a day of service, we encourage you to help us create a modern online dictionary resource for all of the languages of the world. You can start by helping us translate the phrase 'human rights.'

Click here to add to your GOOD To Do list contributing to the PanLex project by translating the phrase 'human rights'

GOOD HQ is challenging the community to commit to service throughout 2013. Go here to pledge 1 percent of your time—that’s 20 hours—being part of the solution this year.

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