ILARA Introductions

The ILARA “Introductions” are one of the formats offered on the YouTube channel of ILARA Online, the virtual branch of the Institute for Linguistic Heritage and Diversity. It explores languages ​​that are little described, little studied, little spoken, or disappeared. They are made up of conferences or cycles of initiation conferences on rare languages ​​and their cultures.

Go to the Introductions playlist of our YouTube channel.

Le vieux-slave

Konstantinos Vetochnikov : Old Slavic was the language of chancellery, religious worship and letters among the Eastern Slavs from the Balkans (Bulgarians and Serbs) to Muscovite Russia via the Romanian and Moldavian countries during the Middle Ages.


Agnès Ouzounian : Georgian, a language of the South Caucasus attested since the beginning of the 5th century, has its own alphabet and a literature that spans fifteen centuries.


Ayten Babaliyeva : Tabasaran is a language spoken in Dagestan (southern Russia), mainly in its two southern regions – Tabasaran and Khiv. It constitutes with Lezgui and Aghoul the eastern branch of the Samurian languages.


Alexandre François : Mwotlap is an Oceanian language (Austronesian family), spoken by approximately 2,200 people in the Vanuatu archipelago, in the heart of the Pacific. It is one of the 138 languages ​​of this Melanesian archipelago.


Amandine Wattelier-Bricout : Sanskrit is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Iranian branch. Attested since 2000 to 1500 BC. not. e. on the Indian subcontinent, its oldest form is preserved in the Vedic hymns.

Kartvelian Languages (South Caucasian)

Hélène Gérardin : the Kartvelian languages ​​are languages ​​with an oral tradition, little documented. Composed of three languages, they are only spoken in informal contexts and are transmitted to the younger generation only passively.

Culture and Language of the Xi Xia (Tangut)

Romain Lefebvre: Tangu is a Qiangic language. It belongs to the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan family. It is a dead language, formerly written and spoken by the Xi Xia (1038–1227) and used until the 15th century.


Valentina Schiattarella: Siwi is a minority language spoken in the oases of Siwa and El Gara, located in the Western Desert of Egypt. It is classified among the Berber or Amazigh languages (Afroasiatic family).

Autodocumentation of Amazigh Languages

Amina Mettouchi and Massinissa Garaoun: this video explains what autodocumentation is and why it is important and gives examples of what has been done so far in that regard.

Introduction to Classical Maya

Jean-Michel Hoppan: the Mayan languages are a language family which, with the exception of Teenek, traditionally form a geographical continuum in northwestern Central America, extending over parts of Mexico as well as part of western Honduras.

Prakrit Languages and Literature

Melinda Fodor: Prakrit languages are classical languages of India, belonging, like Sanskrit, to the Indo-Aryan family.

Armenian in Five or Six Words

Agnès Ouzounian: Armenian, an independent branch within the family of Indo-European languages, has been attested since the beginning of the 5th century, when its alphabet was created, completing the evangelization of its speakers.

Assamese: Using Language in Social Situations

Émilie Arrago-Boruah: Assamese is one of the twenty-three official languages of India and serves as a common language between the different population groups living in Assam. Come and discover the language and its uses in different ethnographic contexts and in literature.

Turkic Languages

Murad Suleymanov: discover various Turkic languages, big and small, as you embark on a journey across Eurasia, from the Lithuanian castles to the Arctic coasts of Siberia, passing through the desert plateaus of central Iran, the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus and the steep shores of the Volga.

Languages of the Caucasus

Murad Suleymanov: This video introduces the languages of the Caucasus, the Caucasus being one of the most linguistically diverse regions in Eurasia and home to five structurally very different language families, which altogether comprise about sixty languages.

Anatolian Languages

Michele Bianconi: Anatolian is the most archaic branch of the Indo-European family, and its languages are the oldest attested. This video presents ILARA’s Anatolian language course, focusing on Lycian and Carian (languages of the first millennium BCE).

Orkhon Turkic: Studying the Runiform Inscriptions of the 8th century

Dorian Pastor: Orkhon Turkic is an 8th-century Turkic language spoken in Mongolia by the Göktürks.

Avestan, an Ancient Iranian Language

Céline Redard: Avestan, an Indo-European language, belongs to the Iranian branch and is the language in which most Zoroastrian rituals are written. It has been passed on through oral tradition and manuscripts.

Old Norse and Modern Icelandic: Twins with Differences

Alessia Bauer: Old Norse was the language spoken by the peoples of northern Europe (in present-day Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and in former Scandinavian colonies) from the Viking Age (c. 780–1050) until the High Middle Ages.

Tikuna, an Amazonian Language

Denis Bertet: Tikuna is an isolated Amerindian language spoken in Western Amazonia. With approximately 60,000 speakers, a number which seems small, it is in fact the most widely spoken indigenous language in the Amazon basin.

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