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Rosetta Project

The Rosetta Project is a global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers working to develop a contemporary version of the historic Rosetta Stone to last from 2000 to 2100. In this updated iteration, its goal is a meaningful survey and near permanent archive of 1,000 languages. Some of these languages have less than one thousand speakers left in the world. Others are considered to be dying out through the increasing importance of English in today's society. The intention is to create a unique platform for comparative linguistic research and education as well as a functional linguistic tool that might help in the recovery or revitalization of lost languages in unknown futures.

They are creating this broad language archive through an open contribution, open review process. The resulting archive will be publicly available in three different media: a micro-etched nickel alloy disk two inches (5.08 cm) across with 2,000 year life expectancy; a single volume monumental reference book; and through a growing online archive.

Table of contents
1 Concept
2 See also
3 External links


Fifty to ninety percent of the world's languages are predicted to disappear in the next century, many with little or no significant documentation. Much of the work that has been done, especially on smaller languages, remains hidden away in personal research files or poorly preserved in under-funded archives.

As part of the effort to secure this critical legacy of linguistic diversity, The Long Now Foundation is creating a broad online survey and near permanent physical archive of 1,000 of the approximately 7,000 languages on the planet.

There have three overlapping goals for the project

The 1,000-language corpus expands on the parallel text structure of the original Rosetta Stone through archiving ten descriptive components for each of our 1,000 languages. See the content section for details on the Rosetta descriptive categories.

They are creating this broad language archive through an open contribution, peer review model similar to the strategy that created the original Oxford English Dictionary. The goal is an open source "Linux of Linguistics" -- an effort of collaborative online scholarship drawing on the expertise and contributions of thousands of academic specialists and native speakers around the world. They are also organizing formal archive research groups at Stanford, Yale, Berkeley, Library of Congress, Summer Institute of Linguistics and our offices in San Francisco.

The resulting Rosetta archive will be publicly available in three different media: a free and continually growing online archive, a single volume monumental reference book, and an extreme-longevity micro-etched disk. The plans are to globally distribute significant numbers of these disks with protective containers (see photo on right) to individuals, institutions and others who care to keep one.

A "Version 1.0" of the disk was completed in the Fall of 2002. The Rosetta Disk Project is run by the Long Now Foundation.

See also

External links