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Smithsonian gets $1.2M gift from pharmaceutical company to sustain endangered languages

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WASHINGTON — A $1.24 million gift to the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage will fund a new effort to sustain minority languages from Europe.

The center said Monday that Ferring Pharmaceuticals donated the funds to support the language project for five years.

The new project will focus on sustaining minority languages in Europe. It builds on the Smithsonian's effort to save endangered languages of indigenous peoples and to study the knowledge passed on through language traditions.

The new effort will support deeper evaluation of factors that drive language revitalization.

The Smithsonian's folklife center has been working to raise $4 million as part of the institution's centennial campaign. The gift brings the center's fundraising total to 94 percent completion.

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