1. What kind of organisation is SIL?

SIL International is a faith-based nonprofit organisation committed to serving language communities worldwide as they build capacity for sustainable language development. SIL does this primarily through research, translation, training and materials development. SIL works alongside ethnolinguistic communities and their partners as they discover how language development addresses the challenging areas of their daily lives—social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual.

2. Does SIL International provide training?

Training for SIL International staff is generally provided by SIL schools at various sites worldwide. Anyone with the appropriate educational background can enrol in the SIL training. For more information click here

3. How can I find out about working with SIL?

If you are in a country where SIL works contact your local SIL office. Click here for contact information.

If you live in a country outside the Pacific and are interested in working here you can contact our partner organisation in your region. For more information see

4. What is the basis of SIL’s presence in Pacific countries?

In most cases, SIL has formal agreements with a department of the government, such as education, social services or, in a few cases, religion. It also maintains reporting relationships to various national universities, and national organisations.

5. Where did the organisation's name come from?

In 1934 William Cameron Townsend began linguistics and anthropology courses for students interested in fieldwork. They were held in the summer at a small community in Arkansas, USA. Because of this seasonal schedule, Townsend labelled the training the Summer Institute of Linguistics. The organisation became known by the initials SIL and recently SIL International has been adopted as the trading name. Sometimes SIL entities adopt local names that are meaningful in their context.

6. Where is the international office of SIL?

The SIL International office is located in Dallas, Texas.

SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road
Dallas, Texas 75236-5629 USA
Phone: 972-708-7400
E-mail: [email protected]