Public Release:  Language vitality barometer toolkit for detecting endangered languages available online

Tools and database of the EU project ELDIA now generally accessible / Wake-up call to policymakers to help save endangered languages

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

The EuLaViBar language vitality barometer is a tool that can be used to determine the extent to which a language is threatened with extinction. Academics from eight universities in six European countries developed the barometer during a three-and-a-half year project sponsored by the European Union. It is now available to anybody interested online at http://www.eldia-project.org/index.php/eulavibar. "We originally developed the barometer for the purpose of analyzing Finno-Ugric minority languages, some of which are very much in danger of dying out," explained Professor Anneli Sarhimaa of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), who headed up the study. "However, the language vitality barometer can generally be applied to all languages threatened with extinction."

The barometer is designed to help policymakers and stakeholders identify languages that are at particular risk. The information provided by the barometer is based on empirical data extracted from surveys. Once particularly critical linguistic domains have been identified, it should then be possible to put in place targeted measures and use available resources efficiently.

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The European Union supplied EUR 2.7 million to fund the European Language Diversity for All (ELIDIA) project between 2010 and 2013. The project consortium welcomes scholars from around the world to use the ELDIA database at Mainz University for their own academic research on endangered and revitalizing languages. Information about the database is available online at http://www.eldia-project.org/index.php/eldiadata.

Illustration: http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/05_english_sneb_eldia_02.jpg

The vitality status of Karelian in Finland according to the EuLaViBar: The chart indicates that the status of the language here is very worrying. In terms of the main parameters "Capacity" and "Language Products," Karelian in Finland is critically endangered while in terms of "Opportunity" and "Desire" the language is seriously endangered. [Key: Language usage (green), Education (red), Legislation (yellow), Media (blue)]

source: © http://www.eldia-project.org

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