Who We Are
Serving Language Communities through Linguistics, Literacy and Translation
SIL International is a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide as they build capacity for sustainable language development. The organization has completed linguistic investigation in over 2,600 languages representing over 1.7 billion speakers in nearly 100 countries.
SIL is about languages and the people that speak them. Language is a deeply personal part of individual and community identity. Connecting with people by using their own languages speaks to their hearts. No community should have to choose between preserving their heritage and accessing resources.
Our vision is that language communities have the information and skills to ensure that their language continues to serve their changing social, cultural, political and spiritual needs. We serve alongside communities as researchers, trainers and consultants, supporting efforts such as translation, literacy and development of books and other resources in the local language. We are especially concerned for those whose languages are different than the ones used by most people in their nation. Language shouldn’t be a barrier to experiencing the wholeness and fullness of life that God intends for all people.
Through extensive language survey efforts, SIL is a leader in the identification and documentation of the world's languages. Results of this research are published in Ethnologue: Languages of the World, a comprehensive catalog of the world's 7,000+ living languages.