Many African languages are heading for extinction and some are already extinct (like |Xam, previously spoken in the Western Cape). We are trying to preserve documents written in |Xam by using cellphones to type in the text.
It is one of the historical languages of South Africa's Khoi-San people, recorded almost in its entirety by researchers. The speakers originally occupied a large part of western South Africa. By 1850, only a few hundred |Xam speakers lived in remote parts of the Northern Cape. However, the language survives in the pages of hand-written testimony taken down word-for-word from some of the last |Xam speakers in the 1860s and 1870s. These pages record not just the |Xam language, but also their myths, beliefs and rituals. A comprehensive |Xam dictionary was produced and published. The artifacts have been digitized and digital library systems have been created for preserving this collection and providing access to it via the Web.