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California Language Archive Gives Great Insight into America’s Indigenous Languages

ALTA Language Services

A recent initiative called the California Language Archive (CLA) allows access to a vast catalog of language resources, giving new life to many of these forgotten tongues. The entire collection is available for free on their website, and it includes downloads of audio and written materials that focus primarily on the indigenous languages of California, western North America, Florida, and the Americas. Established by UC Berkeley in June 2011, the CLA is a virtual feast for anyone fascinated by just about any aspect of language. Similar to the Internet Archive – which hosts an infinite number of free live musical recordings, television programs, and films – the CLA acts as an open and free online encyclopedia of language. Where previously only scholars had access to this information, now anyone can explore the languages of Native Americans communities, many of which are in danger of becoming extinct.