(February 19, 2019) The URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples and Wikitongues have entered into a collaboration with the objective to to preserve, revitalize and raise awareness of Uralic languages, including by producing and publishing recordings of oral histories by fluent speakers. URALIC and Wikitongues will also support community-based activists with methodologies and tools for preserving and revitalizing indigenous Uralic languages. The collaboration between URALIC Centre and Wikitongues is aligned with, and supports the goals of the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.  

As a result of the partnership, URALIC Centre and Wikitongues expect to jointly produce over 50 videos of oral histories in at least 20 Uralic (i.e., Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic) languages. These videos will help raise international awareness and profile of indigenous Uralic languages and will be valuable study aids for learners of these languages.

According to Oliver Loode, Managing Director of URALIC Centre, the collaboration with Wikitongues marks a new stage in the evolution of this organization: “Working with Wikitongues helps us to connect Uralic languages and their speakers to the worldwide network of indigenous language activists and learners. I appreciate the interest that Wikitongues has expressed in Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic languages and will gladly contribute to the Wikitongues mission of documenting all world’s languages. There is no better time to begin this collaboration than now – at the outset of the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.”

Kristen Tcherneshoff, Director of Community for Wikitongues, expresses optimism for the outcomes of this collaboration. “There is a strong opportunity here for our partnering organizations to utilize digital tools and social media to work with Finno-Ugric communities in sustaining their mother tongues. Wikitongues looks forward to nurturing these relationships and providing an online platform for languages in the region to be shared on a global scale - a perfect time, as the international community looks towards the International Year of Indigenous Languages.”

In addition to the work on producing oral histories and supporting community-based language activists with methodological materials, URALIC Centre and Wikitongues have partnered to promote the social media campaign #IndigenousLanguageChallenge2019 which is building a community of language learners who have publicly committed to improving their indigenous language skills in 2019.

About URALIC Centre  

URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples (


) 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.

About Wikitongues

Wikitongues (www.wikitongues.org) is an international non-profit organization that aims to provide a public archive of every language, including dialects, while further supporting language activists around the world with documentation tools and methods. Wikitongues operates from a volunteer basis, with over 1,000 people working to promote this vision. Wikitongues is a leading civil society partner with UNESCO for the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Further information:

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

Wikitongues: Kristen Tcherneshoff (kristen@wikitongues.org, Tel. +358 41 495 0073)