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We’ve had some unique experiences in our careers as linguists involved in community development, language development and training translators and language development workers.

Here are the highlights of a few of the things we have been involved in:

teaching at a workshop

Teaching at a workshop

Translator at work

Translator at work

Becky working with the team

Becky working with the team

ISO 639-3 [pip]

Adit molor purus accumsandre euguer diamcom vullandigna ullamcorper utet; ipisim coreetue quam ssisci modiam sandigna. Lacus nisim per consenisim se cillum aliquet alisis con; nis nonum ipsuscidunt quisl dignissim nim. Sequam facilisi felis. Conulputem volesed do, aliscil iliqui eumsandre facilisse, tincidunt ligula quatums eraestrud. Feugiam metus sectem rud olenit habitant tatet feuguerci; amconumsan augiat ipsumsan fringilla. Consed feu nostrud bla facillum duntis. Rcilis ullutat facin pharetra tio. Eliquatum mus commy issendiam modolutem erostin essit.

ISO 639-3 [gel]

I (Becky) met the ut-Ma’in Language Development team in April 2005. In Nov 2005, I was able to return to the language area and begin learning about their language. I had the privilege of working with them from Nov 2005 through March 2007. Making several trips a year to the language area and working with speakers who traveled to another city, I began to understand how their noun system works. It was fascinating! Since I was looking for a topic to write my thesis on, this seemed like a fitting topic and my ut-Ma’in friends agreed to assist me. {title} ({hits}) is a copy of the final product. Along the way I had the chance to help them develop some materials in their language.

Foster Care:
Becky and Baby R

"I love those kids! They will always have a special place in my heart."

Map of Thailand showing Chaing Mai

Map of Thailand showing Chaing Mai

From August 2002 to February 2003, Becky lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She shared her life and a bit of her heart with the foster children she helped to care for. In the fall of 2007, she returned to Chiang Mai for a brief time to teach at Payap University. Transitioning back to Thailand was a lot like going home. She was even able to live with a long time friend from Bible college. What a blessing to be reconnected to the foster care work that took us to Chiang Mai in 2002.

Graduate School Building at Payap University

Graduate School Building at Payap University

I had the privilege of spending one semester (Fall 2007) as a visiting instructor at Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. My responsibilities included teaching a master’s level course on Semantics. All classes were conducted in English, but the student population was very international. I had students from 5 different countries.




Over the last 5 years Becky has served several times as teaching staff at SIL-UND in Grand Forks, North Dakota. No winters though. Summer terms only!

  • 2005 – Teaching Assistant – Morphology and Syntax I
  • 2008 – Teaching Assistant – Linguistic Field Methods
  • 2009 – Instructor – Linguistic Field Methods

IT Support:

  • 2007 – IT Staff
    Hugh first started on staff at SIL-UND as an IT Support person in 2007. He was responsible for the resolving networking needs of the administration and the personal IT needs of the 150-odd staff and students. The role is a mix of Help Desk Servant, Computer Repair and Network Administrator. Hugh also premiered Apples for Breakfast several 1 hour workshops conducted through out the summer on how to use tools available on OS X to complete linguistics tasks. Apples for Breakfast continued to be offered in 2008 and 2009 because he was impressed with the great need for good IT skills among linguistics professionals. It has finally evolved into a website which is a work in progress. Lingusitics on OSX.
  • 2008 – IT Staff
    Hugh again returned to do IT support in 2008.
  • 2009 – Teaching Assistant – Tone
    Switching it up in 2009, Hugh Returned to SIL-UND to TA for Keith Snider. This is an advanced phonology course which looks at tone and how to linguistically analyze tone.

Plug-in for adding ISO 639-3 Codes to WordPress

Hugh and Kevin Cline worked on this plugin together.

WordPress is an opensource Content Management System (CMS) used for building and presenting websites. It is used by over 5.5 million people around the world and is one off the top 3 CMS platforms for personal/small business market. The purpose of this plugin is to allow wordpress users to add ISO 639-3 codes to their content and then also submit that content to the Open Language Archives Community search service.

Part of Archiving and Accessing language materials is keeping track of which language the materials go with, are the materials about German, English or Gumawana? To help with these tasks there is an ISO Standard called ISO 639-3. This standard has a set three alpha character code for each language: [xyz]. It is maintained by SIL International, but is used by many projects all over the world:

  • The Ethnologue (English Example)
  • World Atlas of Language Structures (English example)
  • Wikipedia (English example)
  • The Open Language Archives Community: Enables people to search for language based materials in Libraries and Archives. Because they are are also using the ISO 639-3 as part of their MARC records or Dublin Core Meta-data sets.
  • When linguist write papers about a language or languages it is best practice to include ISO 639-3 codes when referencing a language so that readers can also correctly associate other materials with the language being discussed.

This project is currently stalled but there is a roadmap of needed development here. If you want to partner with us with and have skills and time we would love to have you develop this plugin further. I can make the files available to you, just email me and I can give you SVN access to the files.

Scripture Earth

Hugh has worked with the developers of the Scripture Earth website as a consultant on user interface issues.

There are nearly 990 indigenous languages spoken today throughout the Americas, represented by over 140 language families. Many of these languages have Bible translation work in progress. As these productions become available we hope people will find links to those resources from this web site.


This site is in the development stages of becoming a place where teachers of linguistics can share data sets or problem sets for the classes they teach. If you want to partner with us with and have skills and time we would love to have your help in developing this site further. I can make the files available to you, just email me and I can give you SVN access to the files.