SIL Language Technology

Supporting literacy, development and translation through language and writing system software.

SIL International develops and supports a wide range of software to assist with language development activities: linguistic and cultural research, literacy and mother-tongue education, dictionary development, community and computer-assisted translation, and vernacular media production.

One part of the Language Technology team – The SIL Non-Roman Script Initiative (NRSI) is exclusively dedicated to meeting complex writing system needs so language communities can use their preferred writing system on computers, mobile devices and the web. The team does research, provides help and develops script-specific solutions, including fonts and keyboards.

For a current list of SIL software and fonts, see the Products Index.

Other software that may be useful can be found on the LingTranSoft site.

Document

Key products such as the FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx) support language documentation and analysis. Manage recordings of language data with SayMore. Build a dictionary easily with WeSay. Document scripts and writing systems with ScriptSource.

Publish

Our software enables language learning and literature production. Produce books for early readers with PrimerPro and Bloom. Publish dictionaries with Webonary. Support complex writing systems with award-winning fonts and keyboards and ground-breaking technologies, such as Graphite.

Participate

We rely on open tools and processes to develop our software, and welcome contributions and feedback. We also participate in the development of open standards such as Unicode, ISO 639-3, and LIFT. Contact us to get involved.

Developing Standards

Language Technology developers are actively engaged in developing data standards for language data. In collaboration with others in the industry, progress is being made on the following standards:

LIFT — LIFT (Lexicon Interchange FormaT) is an XML format for lexical information (dictionaries). LIFT allows movement of data between programs such as WeSay, FLEx and Lexique Pro.

Unicode — an industry-wide character set encoding standard designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages and technical disciplines of the modern world. Closely related to ISO/IEC 10646.

ISO 639-3 — the International Organization for Standardization's registry of the languages of the world. It is comprised of living languages taken from SIL's Ethnologue, as well as extinct, ancient, reconstructed, and artificial languages. The current registry includes over 7000 languages, each identified by a unique three-letter code.