SIL International Media Release

Opening of expanded SIL library in Manila celebrates the International Year of Languages

'Languages Matter!' is the slogan of the International Year of Languages.

"Languages Matter!" is the slogan of the International Year of Languages.

(February 2008) To celebrate the UN-declared International Year of Languages, SIL Philippines inaugurated the newly renovated SIL Research Library and Archive facility on 28 February.

On the same date in 1953, then Secretary of Education Cecilio Putong and Deputy Director of SIL Richard S. Pittman signed an agreement inviting SIL to conduct language research among minority groups in the Philippines. This 55-year cooperation between the government and SIL was celebrated during the program for the library’s expansion. SIL has been privileged to work alongside the nation’s ethnolinguistic communities in language development, literacy, multilingual education and translation.

Speakers at the event included Dr. Ricardo Ma. D. Nolasco, Chairman of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commission on Philippine Language), and Dr. Isabel P. Martin, President of the Linguistic Society of the Philippines. Dr. Nolasco stated that the library "will be used to gain more knowledge and add to our existing research on the languages and cultures of the Philippines."


Visitors view a demonstration of a database compiled by SIL of Philippine languages and cultures.

Visitors view a demonstration of a database compiled by SIL of Philippine languages and cultures.

The newly expanded library contains materials from more than 90 languages of the Philippines—as well as basic reference works in linguistics, literacy, anthropology, ethnomusicology and translation—all with a focus on languages in the Philippines. Visitors saw a demonstration of a computer database that will ultimately be a comprehensive digital archive of language and culture data compiled by SIL Philippines.

In cooperation with the Department of Education in the Philippines, SIL personnel carry out linguistic research and documentation of the languages and cultures of ethnolinguistic communities in the Philippines. As appropriate to the language community, SIL serves by building capacity for sustainable language development by means of research, training, translation, materials development and multilingual education consultation.

SIL joins other organizations worldwide in the 2008 observance of the International Year of Languages, recognizing that genuine multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding.


The expanded facilities can seat up to sixteen researchers.

The expanded facilities can seat up to sixteen researchers.


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