SIL Language Technology

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

SIL International develops and supports a wide range of language technology and 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 SIL Language Technology – the Writing Systems Technology team – 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.


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.


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.


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.

Recent Posts

31 May 2023

FLExTrans Version 3.8 Released

HermitCrab Synthesis, Settings via Menu, Export Unlinked Senses, FlexTools Interface Improvements Support for HermitCrab synthesis – For target projects that use HermitCrab for their parsing system,… read more

25 May 2023

FieldWorks 9.1.21

Release Date: May 25. 2023 Changes in version 9.1.21 LT-14240, LT-16220 FieldWorks no longer crashes clicking OK if you pick no inflection features in Cat. Edit. LT-18415, LT-20851 The grammatical inf… read more

18 May 2023

Version 3.13.0 Released

XLingPaper version 3.13.0 (for the XMLmind XML Editor version 7.2+ or 8.2+) is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Note: for Mac users upgrading to this version from versions before 3.7.5, plea… read more

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