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August 12th, 2010

The Lebanese Language Institute (LLI) is a non-profit organization that is committed to provide the resources and the means to teach  the “Modern Lebanese Language” worldwide.  Many people are expected to join this venture and profit from it, an estimated 6 to 8 million people of Lebanese descent who communicate or are interested in communicating in Lebanese, and many other related or unrelated groups who have interest in Lebanon and its language.

The Lebanese Language Institute was founded to develop, preserve, and expand the  knowledge about the Lebanese Language through understanding its history, grammar and lexicon.  LLI aims to create a space to proliferate and disseminate information about this wonderful and living language.  It is a space where you can learn, communicate and interact.

The main catalyst behind this project was due to the spread of global communications, especially on the internet, where the need for a unified Latin based system of expressing the Lebanese language has become evident. Since the Lebanese people, mainly in the diaspora, do not use a unified writing system to express their spoken language, one of the first tasks of LLI was to create a uniform alphabet using basic Latin letters.

One of the challenges of creating this system was a sensitive consideration to the people who communicate using the Latin Keyboard, where all the letters that are on that keyboard, could be maintained, and then supplemented, to achieve a complete system that is capable of handling the various tonalities and nuances of speech that are Lebanese in nature, as well as the possibility of expanding this system to other regions that share linguistic similarities with Lebanon. This approach proved to be successful because it addressed major concerns in regards to technological, and regional sensitivities. Another aspect that added to this success was the fact that the system was built on modern technology, utilizing the latest Unicode sets to define the additional letter representations, and therefore, addressed the global nature of the system. Within these parameters, the Lebanese Latin Letters (LLL) system, addresses regional, global, and technological aspects necessary for success.

After years of research, the system was complete. At that point, a necessary step was needed to achieve the applicability of this system. For this reason, the LLI developed a Lebanese Keyboard that is easy to install and to use. This keyboard, made it possible for anyone who owns a computer, to use the LLL system to express the Lebanese Language in Latin Letters. As technology evolves, the system seamlessly evolves with it. There is no need for any updates, it is a one step application. Once the keyboard is installed, your computer is ready to implement it.

On the other hand, the team at LLI has been gathering grammatical and lexical data for years, and has finally reached a point where this data will be available online as a learning resource. The grammatical structure will be available as grammar lessons,and the lexical structure will be available in the form of an online dictionary.

Other projects will follow, such as literary writings, song transcription, and other language related projects. The LLI is committed to have all this information as open source, and available to the public. We are proud of our linguistic heritage, and we are working to preserve it.

P.S. If you are interested in helping out in any project, or have any suggestions, please contact us at: info@lebaneselanguage.org

Lebanese Language Institute – Instituto del Lenguaje Libanés

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