The idea behind this project is to preserve languages that are disappearing from the world.
The company spoke about this project:
With the Endangered Languages Project, Google puts its technology at the service of the organizations and individuals working to confront the language endangerment by documenting, preserving and teaching them. Through this website, users can not only access the most up to date and comprehensive information on endangered languages as well as samples being provided by partners, but also play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio or video files. In addition, users will be able to share best practices and case studies through a knowledge sharing section and through joining relevant Google Groups.
They are working with a bunch of partners in this project:
Google oversaw the development and launch of this project, but the long term goal is for it to be led by true experts in the field of language preservation. As such, oversight of the project will soon transition to First Peoples’ Cultural Council and The Institute for Language Information and Technology (The Linguist List) at Eastern Michigan University in coordination with the Advisory Committee.