Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger of Disappering


UNESCO’s flagship activity in safeguarding endangered languages is the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, with an interactive online resource now complementing its third print edition (in press). The online Atlas, freely available, aims to provide speaker communities, policy-makers and the general public with state-of-the-art knowledge, continually updated by a growing network of experts and community members.

The online edition has been developed as an interdisciplinary initiative (Culture Sector, Communication and Information Sector), in the framework of the Endangered languages and Multilingualism in Cyberspace programmes of UNESCO.

Index Translationum

The UNESCO Index Translationum is an international bibliography of translations which was created in 1932.

The database contains cumulative bibliographical information on books translated and published in about one hundred of the UNESCO Member States since 1979 and totalling more than 1.700,000 entries in all disciplines: literature, social and human sciences, natural and exact sciences, art, history and so forth.

International cooperation makes the Index Translationum a work tool that is unique in the world.

Each year, the bibliography centres or national libraries in the participating countries send to the UNESCO Secretariat the bibliographical data concerning translated books in all fields of knowledge. The references registered before 1979 can be found in the printed editions of the Index Translationum, available in all National depository libraries and at the UNESCO library in Paris.

UNESCO's Clearing House for Literary Translation

UNESCO's Clearing House for Literary Translation is a centre for information, guidance and encounter for all those (translators, publishers, researchers, archivists, teachers) working on the discovery and promotion of still unknown literatures.

To identify the capital and literary heritage for guidance of translators and publishers. One guidance service that we wish to offer to professionals of literary translation and publishing sector consists in literary historical and contemporary heritage lists able to facilitate the work of identifying texts for translation and publication. In view of this we are making the following lists providing information and contact details available to professional literary translators.

  • A collection of national lists of works recommended for translation by UNESCO's National Commissions (available by clicking on the world map on the left side of the screen).

  • The historical catalogue of the UNESCO Collection of representative works, which lists approximately 1400 works identified by UNESCO through a period of over 50 years, as masterpieces of the world literature; they have already been translated and published in at least one of the major written vehicular languages.

  • The list of the Society for the promotion of Africa, Asia and South America (Litprom), established after consultation with the on-field organisms specialised in locating quality texts from regions lacking editorial opportunities.

  • The African Book Collective (ABC) proposes to UNESCO twenty african works from the lists of publishers participating in the ABC programme, as books suitable for translation and potential new titles for inclusion in its Collection of Representative Works.

CD-Rom "Cultural Diversity and Indigenous Peoples"

This CD-ROM is the result of an exchange, under the auspices of UNESCO, between numerous indigenous and non-indigenous authors, activists, researchers, artists and publishers who are dedicated to promoting awareness of indigenous cultures and safeguarding indigenous peoples' cultural identity, their modes of expression and oral traditions.

It contains more than 130 texts, photographs, paintings, film extracts, video sequences and files presented in languages spoken by the different indigenous peoples, combined with web connections to sites and indigenous portals.

This CD-ROM aims to show the ways in which indigenous cultures find expression. It conveys the power of new indigenous voices through the media of essays, literature, poetry, photography, cinema, paintings and songs. Feature film extracts, portraying aspects of contemporary life in indigenous communities, are also included, in addition to a presentation on the evolution of indigenous peoples' actions on the world stage.

All original languages, some of which are spoken by as few as 30 persons, have been kept here. This CD-ROM offers a unique opportunity to appreciate these endangered languages.

Publisher: UNESCO