With the popularity of You Tube and sites like it, language activists are finding that posting language videos online can be a great way to engage learners. The ability to share these videos over the internet provides access to a much larger pool of learners, from potential speakers who are geographically separated to those who are too shy to practice speaking in social settings. A problem that many communities are facing, though, is that some of their best language material comes from video or audio recordings that may be decades old and isn’t formatted properly to post online. A project sponsored by Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage is stepping in to help indigenous communities across the globe work around that problem. Digitizing the Inuit and Aboriginal Media Archive (DIAMA) offers to digitize up to five videos for free and will co-sponsor a search for funds for archives interested in digitizing their complete collections.
In addition to helping communities clean, reformat and digitize their treasured footage, DIAMA has created its own You Tube-esque site where people can upload learning materials, including videos, images, audio files or text files for their own culture education area. The site, located at www.isuma.tv, currently has over 2600 films in 46 languages.