Archive for the ‘Halkomelem (hur)’ Category

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.

Tweets meet digital billboard meets Native cultures

5 April 2011

Clint Burnham has teamed up with Lorna Brown to create public art on the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. On the south end of the bridge is an electronic billboard—the sort you see announcing traffic delays on the highway—located on Squamish Nation land.

The title of this art project is “Digital Natives,” and its form is short messages displayed on the billboard. Through April, Digital Natives is inviting North American artists and writers (Native or not) to send short messages up to 140 characters in length, or Tweets, through their Twitter account @diginativ. They will select up to 30 for display on the bulletin board beginning mid-April.

Part of the project appears to be translating Tweets into First Nations languages. Some of the difficulties and successes of translation to Kwak’wala (kwk) are discussed in “Learning through translation” on the Digital Natives site. Other languages of the project include Squamish (squ)—the language of the Squamish Nation—and hǝn’q’ǝmin’ǝm’—the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur).

The show is from Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. Read also the biographies for the many contributors to this project.

The article “‘Digital Natives'” on the Tyee site provided the inspiration and much of the material for this blog entry.

Squamish Language is in the process of creating podcasts for learning Squamish. So far, four are available. Podcasts can be downloaded onto iTunes on your personal computer or onto your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

Hip hop Musqueam performer in the news

2 April 2011

Crunch, or Christie Lee Charles as she’s known off-stage, speaks hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur) spoken by the Musqueam Indian Band in British Columbia, Canada. She learned the language from her great-uncle and in high school from the First Nations Languages Program.

Crunch has taken her heritage language in a new direction, developing and performing rap. She performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, at the Utopia Festival at Storyeum for International Women’s Day last month, and at other venues such as a Kelowna talent show.

According to “First Nations Female Artists,” she began performing the language in hip hop after obtaining permission from elders. Christie Lee Charles is also featured in “Young mom performs hip hop in Musqueam dialect,” on the CTV News site.

FPHLCC & First Voices!

28 March 2011

The First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council administers the First Voices program, a wonderful array of learning tools for Canadian languages (in English and French). Their glossary pages include:

Each First Nations people has a welcome page, a portal and links to a glossary, art, and much more information. With more than 60 communities documenting their languages, 35 are currently available online. The pages even include matching games and quizzes to assist in the learning process.

For kids, check out First Voices Kids, for a more graphic-oriented approach.

The FPHLCC site itself has great resources, too. Check out their news releases page, for example. In December, free iPod, iPad and iPhone apps were announced for Saanich (str), or SENĆOŦEN, and Halkomelem (hur), or Halq’eméylem. Another excellent page is their revitalization page, a place to begin if interested in developing a language revitalization program.

Halq’eméylem class offering

23 March 2011

According to “New language course available to all ages” on the Agassiz Observer site today, Halq’eméylem (as Halkomelem (hur) is known in the Upriver dialect) classes will be offered to people of all ages after spring break, which ends next week. The classes will be offered at the Agassiz Centre for Education (ACE) in Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada.

As of 2000, there were a little more than 200 speakers according to the Ethnologue report. “Cowichan elder keeping the language alive” on the Cowichan News Leader site cites 278 speakers, though interviewee Luschiim says that number is too high.

Also, according to Luschiim, true knowledge requires knowing not only your own family but the family and kinship of others, a demonstration of how language and culture are closely intertwined, and an example of how it is important to maintain language to ensure culture can continue.

To learn Halkomelem, try Tatul’ut tthu Hul’q’umi’num’, a nine-course series including pictures and audio. To type in Halkomelem, see the Language GeekDictionary of Upriver Halkomelem is available from University of California Press for USD 90/GBP 62, and the e-book version is available for USD 72.

Software for Language Learning

17 May 2007

CALICO (Computer Assisted Language Instruction COnsortium) has an annual conference to discuss methods of using computers to assist with language instruction. This year’s symposium has just passed, but in 2001, Robert Balas and Anne George presented on their “La Taupe” and “A travers la lumiere” programs that allow popular video software QuickTime videos to be integrated with a dictionary and more to assist students of French.

In 2002, Canku Ota reported that La Taupe was adapted for students to learn Upriver Halkomelem, a tonal dialect of Halkomelem (hur) in the US. The article notes that the Nooksack people have adopted this language as Nooksack has been lost.

The language program can be found in the Education Department programs of the Nooksack tribe under Halqemeylem. A CD is also available for tribe members. For more information on the language, see the Language Geek (including keyboard software for typing), Snuneymuxw First Nation with a dictionary, the Halkomelem ethnobiology website for sounds, and the University of Victoria website for basic language lessons.