OUR MISSION: LANGUAGE RIGHTS FOR ALL PEOPLE.
"Even if you speak a dominant language, you still get a limited view of the information available.
You might assume that there would be many universal themes across different language editions. There is however less common content across languages: 74% of concepts have articles in only one language, and 95% of concepts are in fewer than six languages on Wikipedia.
Inequalities in the information available for different languages online has implications for who and what gets represented —and by whom. If you explore what the world looks like if you speak Hebrew or Arabic, a very different picture is painted from the one English describes.
There are huge information vacuums in non-dominant languages, where people, places and cultures are swallowed into the dark. And when you look at places described by smaller languages on Wikipedia, it is notably the global south that disappears." (The digital language divide — How does the language you speak shape your experience of the internet?)
Further, even if, according to some, the internet is a catalyst for the extinction of many of the world's less-spoken languages, the issue of digital linguistic representation becomes a problem only if you are able to access the internet in the first place. Although in 2016 the United Nations declared access to the internet as a basic human right, billions of people around the world who speak minority languages continue to be digitally disenfranchised by either their governments reducing access to the internet, the absence of basic digital infrastructure and lack of basic digital literacy.
However, with internet access continuing to be extended to previously disconnected communities and many distant geographies, we see that new opportunities for linguistic empowerment are also emerging.
We believe that at this very intersection of digital, human and linguistic rights we can, together, challenge the linguistic hegemony of a few dominant languages and advocate for digitally-empowered linguistic rights.
MCIS Language Solutions
A non-profit social enterprise offering translation, interpreting and training to ensure access to critical information and services beyond language barriers.
A non-profit online community with a mission to sustain cultures and languages, create on the job-training opportunities, and share knowledge and resources.
The GCLR operates on a network model. Any individual or organization whose work aligns with the mission of this Coalition is welcome to join, in either an active or supporting role. Click here to learn more.