Mother Tongues

Committed to creating thoughtful language revitalization tools for people

Mother Tongues is an organization whose focus is to provide powerful tools for language revitalization.

Mother Tongues was founded by Aidan Pine on Coast Salish territories.

Mother Tongues presently has two publicly available tools:

Mother Tongues Dictionaries are sophisticated dictionary applications for web and mobile platforms that are currently used by over twenty different languages from 8 different language families. If you're comfortable getting your hands into a bit of code, check out the documentation today!

Convertextract is a Python programming library that performs orthographic (writing system) conversions on Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Text files while preserving the file's original formatting.

Check out the Mother Tongues Blog for tips and tricks for using a variety of language-revitalization related coding tools.

Mother Tongues Dictionaries

Mother Tongues Dictionaries (MTD), formerly known as Waldayu, make the first dictionary app suite for endangered languages to combine a language agnostic design, customizable approximate search, cross-platform deployability (Web/Android/iOS), and open-source access.

Additionally, MTD can be used on- or off-line, making it especially useful for remote communities.

Information about the specifics of MTD can be found in an article published in the proceedings of ComputEl-2, here.

MTD has been implemented and is in beta testing for over 6 different languages from different language families, including Tsimshianic, Wakashan, Salishan, Sino-Tibetan and Iroquoian.

Click on the icons below to check out some apps that use Mother Tongues Dictionaries.

Mother Tongues Dictionaries are specifically geared towards language revitalization goals

Language Agnostic Design

Ready to use for any language - including yours!

Customizable Approximate Search

Sophisticated search allows you to get the results you want.

Cross-platform Deployability

Available on the web, as well as on Android and iOS devices.

Free use & Open Source

Licensed under the GNU AGPL V3.0 License, so users always have free access to the app.


Convertextract converts arbitrary Unicode characters in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents while still preserving the document's original formatting.

The online Heiltsuk Orthorgraphy Converter was built with convertextract and allows cut & paste, instant conversions between Heiltsuk Times and Heiltsuk Duolos fonts and Unicode.

Convertextract is currently also set up to convert between the Ts'ilhqot'in Duolos font and Unicode.

If you would like support for a specific language, please either make a pull request below, or contact us.

Get it on Google Play Star

Who are we?

Aidan Pine | Lead Developer

Aidan Pine is a settler of European ancestry born in Victoria, BC. Aidan is interested in language revitalization because of its inherently multidisciplinary nature and because of the social justice component at the centre of the work. Aidan graduated with an Honors degree in Linguistics and a minor in First Nations Languages from the University of British Columbia. Aidan is also a full-stack web and mobile developer and is interested in the ways that technology can support community-led language revitalization initiatives.

Aidan built on the pre-existing web app Waldayu which was developed by Dr. Patrick Littell, and extended it to mobile platforms. It's Aidan's goal to continue developing Mother Tongues Dictionaries and other open-source language revitalization software to ensure that it remains in the public domain, free, and accessible forever.

Language is power!

Questions? Get in touch at [email protected]