Students at Fresno State have teamed up to promote diversity through the Fresno Language Project, which plans to feature students and citizens in a video highlighting the many different languages spoken in the Fresno area.
Gurbhupinder Sahota, president of the Fresno State project, said its research indicates that there are approximately 88 different languages spoken in the Fresno area.
“Our goal is to use at least the 88, if not more, to create a video in which each sentence is spoken in a different language by a different individual,” Sahota said.
The team of students responsible for initiating this project has contacted Guinness World Records. The students are anticipating that the project will become a new world record for the most languages spoken in a video.
“We’re all really excited about the project. As marketing students we have been looking forward to the chance to set a world record,” Tamar Karkazian said one of the students involved in starting the program.
Currently, there is not a world record set on languages spoken in a video, but the students involved in this project said setting the world record is not the primary reason that they started the project.
“One of the biggest things that is taken for granted in Fresno is its diversity,” Sahota said. “Our cultures, our religions, everything differs among individuals. We’re essentially a melting pot.”
Originally, the idea started with five students working on an assignment for their Marketing 188 course, but these students have become passionate about changing the face of Fresno. They decided to build off of the Fresno State logo, “Discovery. Diversity. Distinction,” and show the world the unique backgrounds of the residents and students in the community.
“Being able to impact Fresno in a positive way is a really cool thing,” Karkazian said. “The other aspect is when we were doing the background research, there weren’t that many good brands or ways to promote Fresno. We’re hoping this will spark a rebranding of Fresno.”
The students of the Fresno Language Project said they believe, through their video, people will see Fresno in a positive way and disregard any misconceptions they have of Fresno.
“There’s going to be distinctive features about Fresno — some of the facts and the demographics. All highlight the good things — the sport teams, the various notable people, the educational institutions of Fresno,” Sahota said.
One of the key features that the project plans to implement into the video is to have each participant express the positive attributes that Fresno has to offer. The video will also include English subtitles, and the students are attempting to keep the video short in hopes that it will eventually go viral.
The Fresno Language Project currently has more than 20 bilingual individuals signed up to be a part of the program. Students recently announced their project through an Associated students Inc. (ASI) meeting, and the next step on their agenda is contacting officials and media in the community to find more participants interested in becoming a part of the video.
Estevan Gutierrez, one of the representatives of the Fresno Language Project, said the team is on the right track for making the project a success.
“I see great outcomes; I see a clean crisp video. Even with the short amount of time we have, I really think we can accomplish this,” Gutierrez said.
The videotaping is scheduled to begin in April. For those interested in becoming a part of the video, visit the fresnolanguageproject.com.