A group of volunteers in Bolivia has spent more than a year translating Facebook into the Indigenous Aymara language as part of efforts to preserve their native tongue.
“Aymara is alive. It does not need to be revitalized. It needs to be strengthened and that is exactly what we are doing,” online community organizer Rubén Hilari told El Pais.
While more than 7,000 languages are spoken around the world, Facebook is only available in 75 languages, with another 40 currently in translation.
Today, some 80 percent of the internet remains dominated by just 10 languages, according to World Bank data.
The Aymara Indigenous language, which is one of 36 native languages recognized by the Bolivian state, is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the country along with Quechua and Guarani.
Around 42 percent of Bolivia’s total population belongs to 36 different Indigenous ethnic groups, making it the country with one of the highest percentage of Indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.
Bolivia’s first Indigenous president, Evo Morales, has implemented a series of laws that aim to promote Bolivian national identity including an education measure, which requires that every child must learn an Indigenous language and Indigenous culture alongside Spanish and more traditional subjects.