SIL is a faith-based organization that studies, documents, and assists in the development of the world’s lesser-known languages, partnering with language communities, national and local governments and other organizations interested in advancing the indigenous languages and cultures of Peru.
SIL’s staff shares a commitment to service, academic excellence, and professional engagement through literacy, linguistics, translation, and other academic disciplines. SIL makes its services available to all without regard to religious belief, political ideology, gender, race, or ethnic background.
SIL has grown from a small summer linguistics training program with two students in 1934 to a staff of over 6,000 coming from over 60 countries. SIL’s linguistic investigation exceeds 2,550 languages spoken by over 1.2 billion people in more than 70 countries.
SIL focuses on unwritten languages. People who speak these languages often live in geographic, social, and economic isolation. Studying these languages results in practical help for local people and contributes to the broader knowledge of linguistics, anthropology, and ethnomusicology. SIL publishes its research and widely distributes it to the language communities involved, libraries, universities, governments, and international agencies.
As a leader in the research of the world’s endangered languages through language survey, SIL facilitates language development to prevent the extinction of language and culture.
SIL’s publication, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, is a comprehensive catalog of the world’s more than 6,900 living languages including Peru’s languages.