Saving Endangered Languages


Indiana Jones is best known for being a passionate archaeologist and adventurer, but one of his other passions was language. In fact, he spoke 27 languages, including many ancient languages. When Indy was young, T.E. Lawrence taught him the importance of language and its role in unlocking the past.

In true Indy spirit, linguist David Harrison and National Geographic are making efforts to preserve languages that are quickly approaching extinction. Using digital technology, Harrison ventures around the world where he works closely with "endangered-language communities" to record and document their voices for later generations. The recordings made by Harrison and fellow linguist Gregory Anderson will be stored on an online dictionary.

Read more about National Geographic's Enduring Voices Project or visit the Talking Dictionary.