SPEAKLY, a leading online language learning platform and URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples have initiated collaboration to develop and disseminate modern online language courses for indigenous Finno-Ugric languages. The first such language is Mari – an indigenous Uralic language with approximately 400,000 speakers in the Russian Federation, including in Mari El Republic. SPEAKLY’s Mari language course will be unveiled during the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.

URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples will support SPEAKLY with identifying next Finno-Ugric languages for which to develop SPEAKLY courses, and will help disseminate SPEAKLY courses through URALIC Centre’s extensive partner network in Finno-Ugric regions of Russia and Scandinavia.  

According to Oliver Loode, Managing Director of URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples, the partnership with SPEAKLY will lead to several benefits for indigenous Finno-Ugric languages and their learners: “A key issue faced by almost anybody wanting to learn an indigenous Finno-Ugric language is lack of modern and effective study tools, in particular online language courses. SPEAKLY’s Mari language course will hopefully be the first in a series to make learning indigenous Finno-Ugric languages both more accessible and enjoyable.”

SPEAKLY’s Mari language course (based on the Meadow Mari standard form) will be unveiled in summer 2019, as part of the official programme of Shorunzha (Mari El Republic) – Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2019. The course will also be SPEAKLY’s and URALIC Centre’s contribution to the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019 (en.iyil2019.org). SPEAKLY’s Mari language course will be free to all users, and will include Russian and English as interface languages. 

Development of SPEAKLY’s Mari language course is funded by the Kindred Peoples’ Programme of Estonia, and has been endorsed by the Ministry of Culture of the Mari El Republic.  

About Speakly

SPEAKLY is an online language learning platform that uses a unique methodology that harnesses statistical analysis as it’s foundation. Thanks to this, Speakly teaches you the most relevant words and sentences first and additionally gives you the opportunity to experience real-life situations right in the application, to prepare you for real conversations. See more at www.speakly.me.  

About URALIC Centre

URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples (www.uralic.org) works to protect and promote human rights and sustainable development of indigenous peoples. URALIC Centre administers the programme of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture and is a partner of SANA 2019 – Civil Society Network for Preserving and Revitalising Indigenous Finno-Ugric Languages.  

Further information:

SPEAKLY: Ott Ojamets (ott@speakly.me, Tel. +372 5120938)

URALIC Centre: Oliver Loode (oliver.loode@uralic.org, Tel. +372 513 2992)