Archive for the ‘Kwak’wala (kwk)’ 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.

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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.