Celebrating unique languages

August 9, 2019

To celebrate World Indigenous People’s Day, we’re sharing some of the different voices and languages that make our world so rich!

Did you know that the United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) to raise awareness of the crucial role languages play in people’s daily lives? This is because it is estimated that every two weeks, an indigenous language disappears, endangering our precious cultural heritage and human knowledge resources.

Together with the rest of the world, the Voice program (see below) is celebrating World Indigenous People’s day this August 9 by sharing the voices of indigenous language speakers. They are part of various organizations supported by Voice in both Africa and Asia. In the podcasts below, you will hear some of the languages in danger of disappearing. The speakers talk about the importance of native languages as well as their favorite words.

The podcasts first let you hear the speaker in his/her language, then translate what they say into English.

“My language, My pride”

Listen to one of the last Yiakunte speakers in Kenya, Mzee Leriman Leitiko:

“Our language is our identity”

Listen to Maggie from the Higaonon tribe in the Philippines:

“Children may not forget their origin”

Listen to Matius Ngahu, a tribal leader from East Sumba, Indonesia:

“I hope the Mamboro Language is preserved”

Listen to Marten, a proud Amboro speaker from Indonesia:

About Voice

Voice is an innovative grant facility for inclusion and diversity. The program is run in ten different countries in East Africa, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Voice is implemented by Hivos and Oxfam, with Hivos coordinating Tanzania, Indonesia, Kenya, and the Philippines.