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Papua New Guinea: Languages

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 85233, tabled on 1 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much her Department has spent protecting endangered languages from extinction in Papua New Guinea; and what assessment she has made of the importance to indigenous communities of speaking their native languages and the wider linguistic diversity of that country.

Answered on

9 December 2021

The UK Government acknowledges the importance of Papua New Guinea's rich cultural and linguistic diversity, with almost 850 spoken languages. In partnership with the Leverhulme Trust and British Library, we are funding a three year project - True Echoes - to connect communities in Papua New Guinea with the earliest recordings of their local languages and song, dating from 1898 to 1918, and to make the archive available online for all, including Papua New Guinea's cultural institutions and future generations.