Archive for the ‘apps’ Category

Tribes go to Las Vegas to learn about tech

25 April 2013

To learn how technology can help save their languages, some tribes sent members to Las Vegas in February.

The article “To save endangered languages, tribes turn to tech“* gives few details about the meeting, but does briefly mention Cherokee (chr), Ho-Chunk (Winnebago (win)) and Pit River (Achumawi (acv)).

Also mentioned is Thornton Media, a company that has developed a number of apps and software programs for language revitalization. According to their PDF, they have apps released for 14 languages so far and are working on apps for 12 others. See also Luiseño on Nintendo under Development and RezWorld Demo – Task-based Language Instruction for mention of Thorton Media on this blog.

* There seems to be a glitch with the Boston Globe website. If you get an error, try reloading.

App for collecting oral literature

24 April 2013

If you have enough of a source language and accompanying translation, you can piece back together vital parts of a language if a time comes when it is no longer spoken. Collecting that data can be hard work, however.

To address the difficulties of collecting oral language, Language Preservation 2.0 (lp20) has created Aikuma, a free app for Android smartphones that linguists and community members themselves can use to record language with a function to stop along the way and provide a translation.

Read more about the app, and about Tembé/Tenetehára (tqb) and Usarufa (usa), in the article “Recording the world’s vanishing voices.”

sbuusaɫ sqʷuʔalikʷ dxʷʔal ti dxʷləšucid – 1

23 April 2013

sbuusaɫ sqʷuʔalikʷ dxʷʔal ti dxʷləšucid, the Fourth Annual Lushootseed Language Conference, was held Saturday at Seattle University. Titled “šəqild čeɫ ti dxʷsdigʷid ʔi ti xʷdikʷ” (Honoring the Teachers and the Teachings), the conference had something for everyone: language, culture, community, revitalization, technology and more.

A special highlight of the conference was keynote speaker Virginia Beavert, who included in her talk her personal experiences that involved learning Lushootseed (lut) after running away from her Sahaptin-speaking home. Among her advice was that when approaching an elder to get language information:

  1. Say up front what you will do with the information
  2. Give the elder time to consider the request
  3. Explain the importance of developing teaching materials.

Lushootseed teachers Michelle Myles and Natosha Gobin discussed a literary technique used in Lushootseed storytelling along with a recounting of the history of the story “Lady Louse.” They gave out a wonderful booklet that includes photographs of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Krise, a DVD of “Lady Louse” and flash cards for teaching the story.

John La Pointe discussed ties between Puget Salish culture and Christianity, weaving in his personal background.

Zalmai ʔəswəli Zahir discussed how to create a space from which a language can be revitalized.

Deryle Lonsdale discussed the online Lushootseed Dictionary project. It is expected to be available in a few months.

Dave Sienko noted how despite tremendous processing power, smartphones lack full Unicode implementation and so have trouble with the Lushootseed alphabet. As a workaround, the Puyallup Tribe has released Texting Twulshootseed and other apps, which enables the iPhone to text in Lushootseed.

Russell Hugo discussed Moodle, open-source software for educators, as one way to create a community of language learners.

Lushootseed texts are available from Lushootseed Research. Although not currently listed, there are CDs also available.

Cherokee and Technology: a Lecture at the University of Washington

23 September 2012

As occasionally noted on this blog, great advances have been made for using Cherokee (chr) in computing, including mobile devices. Because of the unique syllabary (writing system) used in Cherokee, computing adaptation requires special

This upcoming Thursday, the Indigenous Information Research Group (Facebook page) is sponsoring a lecture by Roy Boney, Jr., a Cherokee Nation language preservationist. Titled “Cherokee Language Technology: The Syllabary and the Nation’s History of Technological Adoption,” the lecture will be about the design and development of Cherokee language apps for mobile devices.

When: Thursday, 27 September, 1:00-2:30 pm
Where: Room 416
Fourth Floor, Roosevelt Commons Building
4311 11th Ave NE
Seattle, WA

App for 100+ languages

1 July 2012

The Cherokee app was released for the iPhone in 2010 (see “YouTube video of Cherokee iPhone app” on this blog). Cherokee has a  writing system (Cherokee syllabary) requiring 85 or 86 unique symbols for writing.

Starting in October 2011, FirstVoices has released a series of apps for use on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch:

Each is a free app with educational content.

While the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch have an easy interface for switching among languages, there are many languages that require characters not available. On 18 June, FirstVoices released their FirstVoices Chat app that provides characters for more than 100 languages spoken in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US.

Also free, the FirstVoices Chat app allows you to set up to seven languages to type in.

Tłįcho app available

17 June 2012

Yes, that’s right. The University of Victoria (Leslie Saxon and Chris Coey) and the Tłįcho Community Services Agency have released a Tłįcho or Dogrib (dgr) app for the iPhone and iPad.

Filled with more than 1300 words and phrases, the Yati Dictionary app includes audio and the ability to add additional vocabulary. Also, the app is free to download and use.