Wikitongues is a nascent effort to document the world’s languages as fluid vehicles of self-expression. I started this project because our world, carved into nation-states and connected by the Internet, is defined by far-reaching politics and borderless communication, a global society driven by the phenomenon of identity. Language, which is a tool that empowers individuals and defines communities, is that phenomenon’s foremost manifestation.
I have approached this project using a methodology that is more sociological than linguistic, focusing on the speakers of the world's languages rather than the languages themselves. My strategy has been to conduct video interviews with people about the concept of home—a prompt I found to be specific enough to initiate conversation without influencing what the interviewees have to say.
Currently, Wikitongues primarily exists on social networks, but in the coming months I will place greater emphasis on developing the website so that users can navigate the content in a more nuanced way. Even though Wikitongues has until now been an individual endeavor, I plan to open source the effort to support the project’s lofty goal of documenting the over 7,000 languages in the world.