News about The Language Archive

19 March 2020
The Language Archive at the MPI received a significant update recently. The most striking difference is that it now features two separate portals, one focusing on the spoken and signed language collections, the other focusing on the various types of research data that are collected within the MPI’s departments and groups. Each portal features a graphically appealing landing page that highlights the most important sub-collections within them.

Some further improvements include:

  • Colour-coded labels indicating the accessibility of archived materials, as well as an option to filter results on accessibility
  • An image gallery to view JPEG and TIFF images within bundles
  • A web-based viewer for audio and video files that were annotated with the MPI’s ELAN annotation software
  • A viewer for plain text and HTML documents
  • The possibility to download entire collections or parts thereof in one go in a ZIP file, by adding them to a “shopping basket”
  • New support forums, to replace the forums and content of the old TLA website

The MPI started to systematically archive language corpora in the late nineties. In 2000, it became the central archive for the endangered languages documentation collections that were created as part of the Volkswagen Foundation’s DOBES funding programme. In 2015, a selected number of collections were added to the UNESCO Memory of the World register. Some further highlights of the archive include the Corpus NGT (Nederlandse Gebarentaal / Dutch Sign Language), which includes more than 72 hours of video recordings of dialogues in Dutch Sign Language, and the Dutch Bilingual Database, which is a large collection of data resulting from studies on bilingualism with speakers of Dutch, Sranan, Sarnami, Papiamentu, Arabic, Berber and Turkish. It contains over 540 hours of audio, 10 hours of video and approximately 615.000 transcribed words.

The archives can be reached at Any feedback about the usage of the archives is highly appreciated and can be easily submitted using the feedback button at the bottom right of the archive pages.

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