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Thiruvananthapuram: With an aim to preserve dying languages of the country for posterity, a group of researchers of the Kerala University have embarked on a project to document fast disappearing languages in digital format.

The Speech Science Research Forum of the Department of Linguistics has already archived as many as 25 languages and dialects including 'Byari','Malijalashaba' and 'Mygurudu', which have only few speakers, in the last six months.

Besides the dying dialects of Kerala, the team has recorded the 'Mantalia' and 'Pahari' languages of Himachal Pradesh, 'Kurumali' of Jharkhand and 'Pali' of Ladakh.

The academic team has travelled around the country in search of the suriving speakers of endangered languages and recorded them, Shijith S, technical officer of the department and head of the project, said.

"We have prepared a questionnaire in English and interviewed the native speakers asking them to respond to it in their original language and accent. Of the 25 identified, 15 languages have been recorded by bringing the speakers at a studio here," he told PTI.

The 'Amharic' language of Ethiopia and Greek had also been recorded with the support of two native speakers from the respective countries, who came here for research.

The other members of the research team included Mahesh, a JNU student, Joji and Vishnudas L.

The archived languages will soon be brought out in the multi-lingual format of a CD-ROM, he said.

"We have plans to record 100 languages in this way by 2014," Shijith added.

PTI

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