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Wiki Speaks Your Language or WikiSYL is an initiative for enriching the Wikimedia projects with freely licensed audio and video files documenting spoken examples of every language, language variety and dialect in the world.
SIL International's Ethnologue lists 7,457 languages of the world (7,097 living and 360 extinct) in its 19th edition released in 2016. Wikimedia projects are rich of textual information about many of these languages, primarily in articles and learning materials on Wikipedia and Wikibooks; however, they are poor of audio and video files documenting spoken examples of the languages that increase the quality and provide educational value of the articles and learning materials available. Since the exposure to a language cannot be properly done through textual information only, readers are eager of getting exposed to spoken examples of the language in order to get a more comprehensive knowledge of it. Spoken examples of languages do not only make a more comprehensive representation of the topic, but they also help in developing some language skills that cannot be developed simply through reading.
The acquiring of free audio and video files documenting spoken examples of languages is a way to improve in the representation of language topics on the Wikimedia projects. Such files with examples of some languages for educational purposes already exist within language institutes, educational institutions, academic libraries, national archives and museums. Our task is to reach out to these institutions and negotiate on their to make them ready for use on the Wikimedia projects. For other languages, such files do not exist and our task is to work out ways for their recording. Considering the global prevalence of the Wikimedia movement and the availability of the Wikimedia projects in almost 300 languages, there are multiple opportunities for starting projects that can contribute to the goal of the WikiSYL initiative.
WikiSYL aims at acquiring freely licensed audio and video files documenting spoken examples of languages in three ways:
The WikiSYL initiative primarily provides support to movement organisations and groups interested in carrying out projects with the goal of acquiring audio and video files but also in conducting community-oriented activities on the adding of files to articles and generating content on language topics.
Mission: The mission of the initiative is to allow free access to spoken examples of every language, language variety and dialect in the world.