September and October on Governors Island

Early fall is one of the most beautiful times out on Governors Island, and ELA will still be in residency at our house in Nolan Park (building 4A) through October. But with a twist: as summer crowds thin and taking more precautions around Covid, we’ll be more in residency-mode with fewer events and without set…

Closed this weekend

It’s been a busy summer! ELA’s house on Governors Island will be closed this weekend (August 7-8) for a little R&R, but we’ll be back next weekend (August 14-15).

The Digital NYC Language Map is Live!

The free, interactive, digital version of Languages of New York City makes public for the first time all the data behind the print map, which was widely covered when it was released in 2019.

2020 – a year of languages

It was supposed to be our 10th anniversary, but this wasn’t a year for celebration. It was a year of doing what we could to continue our work, despite limitations.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a piece of Nahuatl graffiti spotted by ELA board member Juliette Blevins in South Mountain Reserve, New Jersey: “I love you.”

Classes, Fieldwork, and More (Virtually!)

ELA’s work is all about what happens when communities, linguists, artists, students, and language lovers come together — usually in person, in a room, at a community center, at a festival, up a mountain or on a Brooklyn street corner… But in the meantime a lot of amazing work is going on virtually, opening up new…

Introducing Ladino New York

Varieties of what became Judeo-Spanish (now widely known as Ladino) were once spoken by Sephardim, the Jews of Spain — approximately 100,000-175,000 of whom were expelled from Spain in 1492. While some went to Portugal and others to Morocco, the vast majority went to the Ottoman Empire, maintaining and developing their distinctive language for over 500 years. By the…

A New Residency on Governors Island

For the next few months, the Endangered Language Alliance will be hosting a small residency program on Governors Island, the exciting new arts and culture hub in the middle of New York Harbor, giving space to linguists, language activists, and other creators doing related work at a challenging time. Residents will work on ongoing projects documenting…

Virtual Events

ELA is still working remotely and has suspended all in-person events, including language classes, for the time being — but see below for past and upcoming events. July 12: ELA researcher Nawang Gurung at the Columbia’s Weatherhead Institute on “Tibetan and Himalayan Communities in a Covid-19 World” July 17: ELA collaborator Sienna Craig spoke at the “2020 International Tibetan Medicine Conference…

Reopening — to a New Reality

Today officially marks NYC’s reopening, but the extraordinary events of the past few weeks, driven by mourning and anger and hope in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, have already brought the city back to life. At ELA, we are continuing to do what we can to record and reverberate the voices of speakers and communities struggling for justice.…

Diaries from the Epicenter: Immigrant New Yorkers Talk About COVID-19

Nearly every day since April, 14 New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds speaking 10 different Himalayan and Indigenous Latin American languages have been recording diaries of their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic at the epicenter of the epicenter: NYC’s multilingual immigrant neighborhoods. Now hundreds of these recordings are freely available via Soundcloud, with English summaries for…

The Impact of COVID-19 on New York City’s Multilingual Immigrant Communities

Since late March, New York City has been the global epicenter of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, with more than 170,000 confirmed cases and over 18,000 confirmed deaths as of early May. Nearly every New Yorker has been affected, but the effects have not been evenly distributed. While there is emerging evidence in city data of serious…

Language Support at a Time of Crisis

With over 4,000 COVID-19 cases reported in NYC, over 10,000 across the country, and over 200,000 around the world, we are not just in a public health crisis but in a growing economic crisis and communications crisis. ELA is responding — remotely, since our office is closed to keep everyone safe — by doing more of what we’ve already…

Upcoming Events

ELA is suspending all upcoming events, including language classes, for the time being. Please keep an eye on our website, on our Facebook page, and on future newsletters for any updates. We hope everyone stays safe.

The 2020 Census — in Every Language!

It’s not just the election this year — the 2020 Census is a big deal. Census response rates in cities and particularly in minority, immigrant, and mulitlingual communities are chronically low due to fear, poor outreach, language access, and a range of other factors. As a result, the communities are rendered politically invisible and lose resources. ELA is working as…

ELA @ Governors Island

From May until September, ELA will have a residency in a historic house on Governors Island, an emerging seasonal hub for arts and non-profit activities in the middle of New York Harbor. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Governors Island every summer, and we hope you’ll stop by and see us. We’ll be open every…

IMLD in NYC 2020

In honor of International Mother Language Day, an opportunity to celebrate all of the world’s approximately 7,000 languages, we’re proud to announce the release of a first-ever set of official videos in Indigenous and minority languages for The City of New York! ELA has been working with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and other city agencies on…

ELA’s Language Map in the News

Since its release in December, ELA’s “Languages of New York” map has been featured in a range of publications, including Gothamist, Time Out, The Daily Sun (New York’s daily Japanese newspaper), with re-tweets by the New York City’s Mayor Office and leading New York City politicians. Then a few weeks ago, The New York Times…

2019 – A Year of Languages

ELA’s network — linguists, community leaders, language activists, speakers, students, and ordinary New Yorkers — has been working all year to bring resources and attention to the languages and cultures that need them. Here are just a few of the highlights: In January, we continued our tradition of hosting language classes in less commonly taught languages, with Lenape and Quechua classes…

On #GivingTuesday, Support Languages and Get a Map

On December 3, #GivingTuesday, Facebook may match any donations we get on their platform. Those donations go right into our work documenting and support endangered languages in New York and around the world — and doubling them really matters. Please donate and spread the word. To say thanks, we’re sending donors our beautiful new language maps. Anyone who gives…

Connecting Language and Health

ELA Co-Directors Ross Perlin and Daniel Kaufman spoke last week on “Language Access, Health, and Indigenous Communities in New York City” at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancel Center’s Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service. It was a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between linguist work and public health, specifically addressing NYC’s substantial and growing Indigenous…

NYC Language Maps — Available Now!

Donate $50 to ELA in support of ELA’s work with speakers of languages in New York and around the world — and we’ll mail you our brand-new, full-scale (24 x 36), all-color language map of New York City, featuring 637 languages at 983 different sites, is ready! If you donate $65, we’ll add in EITHER…