Our Mission

At Lingua Bear, we are passionately committed to celebrating and revitalizing languages. We focus on helping individuals reestablish ties with their ancestral languages and assisting indigenous families in preserving their linguistic fluency, a key component of personal identity and community cohesion. Beyond this foundational goal, we recognize the significance of featuring languages from cultures and political backgrounds that have historically faced conflicts or injustices, such as Ukrainian and Russian, Hebrew and Palestinian Arabic, or Basque and Iberian Spanish. By highlighting these languages, we aim to foster unity and understanding, to bridge divides and bring people together.

Our listener-based acquisition model is intentionally designed to mirror the natural patterns of language learning and use, offering an engaging and authentic experience. We are excited to expand this model to incorporate a speaker/listener-based approach with the help of AI, which promises to deepen the richness of our language-learning journey.

We are committed to uplifting marginalized language communities and increasing daily use within their households. By investing in community projects and distributing ongoing royalties to our contributors—often native speakers and cultural guardians—we aim to boost the socio-economic wellbeing of these communities.

Choosing English as an auxiliary language allows us to leverage its global ubiquity, making the vast array of the world’s languages and cultural traditions more accessible. Our project is inspired by the vision behind NASA’s Golden Record Capsule, seeking to capture and share the essence of human linguistic and cultural diversity on a grand scale.

We also acknowledge the crucial role of second language speakers, understanding that their involvement can greatly enhance the longevity of indigenous languages. Engaging a broader segment of society in the revitalization of these languages is essential, ensuring a diverse group of speakers and advocates. This inclusive approach not only enriches the learning experience but also bolsters the sustainability of these languages.

We envision a world where linguistic diversity is not just celebrated but actively nurtured and cherished. We aim to empower individuals to reconnect with and breathe new life into their ancestral languages and cultures. Our mission reflects our dedication to the resilience of the human spirit and the unifying power of language, determined to foster a legacy of understanding, peace, and cultural wealth for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the questions we receive most about the project.
If we missed anything, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Maintaining linguistic diversity extends beyond mere communication needs. While a reduced number of languages might seem to streamline communication, the broader implications are significant. Studies show that learning languages enhances cognitive fitness across all ages. Languages are deeply connected to cultures, embedding values, beliefs, and customs. The extinction of a language means losing unique worldviews and potentially valuable solutions to societal challenges.

Like ecological diversity, linguistic variety contributes to societal resilience and adaptability. Historically, culturally diverse societies have shown a greater capacity to face and overcome difficulties. With an estimated 6,000 languages currently in existence and a language disappearing every two weeks, the urgency to preserve linguistic diversity is more critical than ever. Protecting a language also safeguards the accumulated wisdom and knowledge it embodies. Without intervention, we risk losing over 90% of the world’s languages by the century’s end, diminishing our collective human heritage.

We use English as our auxiliary language because of its status as an international lingua franca. Our human resources model involves working with ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) schools, language teachers, and other target language community members to help us create custom scripts reflecting the true spirit and functionality of their languages—idioms, culturally relevant nouns, songs, humor, and more.

The content team is made up of project managers who are responsible for guiding the translation and recording process. When their task is complete, they submit their work to our audio engineers who edit and master the recordings. These recordings are in turn used to program the virtual and physical Lingua Bear toys.

Once a script is formalized, we select charismatic voice actors who can read the script in both English and the target language. At times, we make accommodations for readers who are articulate in their native languages but whose English is not sufficiently proficient. In these cases, we pair the reader with a surrogate English speaker.

An important part of the Lingua Bear mission is to ensure that we provide continuing support to the communities and people we work with. That is why raised revenue is used for social entrepreneurship, community development, and to pay royalties to participants. You may submit your letter of intent by clicking here or by navigating to our contact page.

In order to reduce our ecological footprint, we incorporated interchangeable language cartridges (brains) in our design. They eliminate the need for entirely new toys for each additional language. The toy’s brains and other internal components are made of upcycled plastic, and its packaging is meant to be reused for collecting brains.

Lingua Bear is sewn in Xonacatlán, a Nahuatl speaking town tucked in the Sierra Nevada mountains about an hour from Mexico City. In an era of app-based learning tools, our plush toy stands out by featuring collectible characters providing the user with a highly kinesthetic learning experience.

For now, we are referring our customers to a third-party solar charging unit, and have plans to create a more sophisticated original design that enables quicker and more convenient solar charging. Currently, you can use conventional AAA alkaline batteries or AAA solar charging NiMh batteries made from environmentally friendly materials. We avoided lithium batteries in our design because they have been known to cause fires.

Our content team is financed primarily through grants and donations while engineering, manufacturing, marketing and distribution are funded through the sale of the Lingua Bear toy. Our goal is to be financially sustainable through the sale of the Linga Bear toy by 2026.

In the face of globalization’s impact on linguistic diversity, our strategy pivots towards the use of AI to mitigate the loss of languages. We’re meticulously codifying linguistic data, which could be pivotal in reconstructing languages that are on the brink of extinction. This data collection aims to encompass the comprehensive aspects of languages, including grammar, phonology, pragmatics, culture, and humor. The envisioned outcome is the development of AI-driven language oracles, capable of not only simulating these endangered languages but also facilitating their relearning, especially in cases where they’ve ceased to be spoken naturally due to the demise of their last native speakers. Through this approach, we aim to safeguard our rich linguistic heritage, preserving the wisdom, knowledge, and historical context embedded within these languages.