Mission accomplished – Silbo Gomero is declared as cultural heritage by the UNESCO

GREAT NEWS – the UNESCO yesterday officially declared the nearly extinct whistled language Silbo Gomero from the Spanish Canary Islands as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity!

This means, that our campaign to rescue this nearly extinct whistled language has been successfully accomplished!

Remember, in September 2008, as part of our committment for having been selected as official project of the UNESCO during the international year of languages, we launched a campaign to rescue this wonderful but nearly extinct whistled language.

We produced a great video (which you can view below) and developed a special part on our website where you can access an interactive learning unit (you have to be logged in for that) for learning Silbo Gomero. We even created a fan page in facebook with currently more than 800 fans of Silbo Gomero.



This campaign has raised huge attention in the international press (see more information on our press page) and we even won a Silver Lion in the International Marketing Festival in Cannes for this activity.

Obviously, the decision of the UNESCO to include Silbo Gomero in the cultural heritage list is based on many criteria but we are convinced that we helped this charming language to raise its attention within the international public to a much more significant level.

We at busuu.com will continuously add new languages to our system (we have recently launched a free, interactive course in Italian) and are definitely commited to further support “smaller” languages around the world to prevent them from their extinction.

Leave a Comment:


  1. culpstuur

    where can i learn [online] silbo?

    English -silbo
    german -silbo

    would be helpfull since spanish is not on my list [p.s. my cockatiels 7-and parakiet4 and javachicken are eager to learn it as well]

    hope to hear from you regards Edith Nooijen

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  3. Andy McCarter

    My walking clients find the subject of Silbo absolutely fascinating. After a couple of days in the mountains of La Gomera they can understand very well how the language came about and how effective it is for communicating across the mighty barrancas. I would love to be able to give a demonstration myself if I could whistle! Where can I learn the basics?

  4. The busuu.com team

    Dear Andy,

    You can learn the basics of Silbo with our special learning unit on: http://www.busuu.com/mysilbo (in order to access this page you need to have a busuu account)

    The busuu.com team

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