How does the Rosetta Project try to guarantee the survival of languages?
The project library is widely available and free, with copies both online, and hard copies available throughout the worlds libraries, and on DVD.
Use the information you have just read on the Long Now Foundation, and any other sources you choose, to write a short report on how the Rosetta Disk has been designed. You should write your report for an interested non-specialist audience such as an adult member of your family. You should aim to explain how and why the disk has been created and some of the techniques used to guarantee its survival into the future. Your report should be no more than 400 words, excluding the citations for any additional sources you use.
The Rosetta Disk and it’s Design.
In this report it is my aim to tell you about the Rosetta Disk project, and the techniques that the team have used to ensure the longevity of the disks themselves.
With the advancing rate of obsolescence apparent in digital technologies the Long Now foundation began the Rosetta project to help draw the publics attention to the fact, and also to explore alternative archiving techniques and how they can be applied to such situations. It was the foundations intent to create a physical, durable archive of the worlds languages in use by the population at the time for prosperity.
The disk itself has information from 1,500 different languages on it’s surface, and is a modern analogue to the Rosetta stone, which was instrumental in the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The disks surface has multiple copies of the same text, but translated into each of the 1,500 different languages; this technique is called a ‘parallel set’ of information. Most of the texts are transcribed narratives, but there are also translations of the beginning of Genesis, and the US Declaration of Independence. On the surfaces are etched thousands of pages of information, not just text on it’s own, but pronunciation guides and other pedagogical information necessary for an understanding of each language.
Each Rosetta disk is a 3″ circle of Nickel, encapsulated in a 4″ sphere of steel and glass, and should last for thousands of years with minimum care necessary, and as the information is presented as written text ( in all the various alphabets of each language! ), there is small chance that it would be rendered obsolete as languages progress.
The Rosetta Disk is a time-capsule of our languages, independent of any single standard, or the obfuscation of digital storage, and given it’s construction, is hoped to carry our languages forwards into the future for thousands of years.
Long Now Foundation (n.d.) The Rosetta Project [ online ], San Francisco, CA, The Long Now Foundation, http://rosettaproject.org ( accessed 21 January 2012 ).
Wikipedia (2010) ‘Rosetta Project’ in Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia [ online ], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_Disk ( accessed 21 January 2012 ).