Archive for the ‘Nuu-chah-nulth (noo)’ 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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Last speaker of Nuchatlaht in news

30 April 2011

Nuu-chah-nulth (noo) is an endangered language spoken on Vancouver Island, off the western shore of mainland Canada. According to Wikipedia, Nuu-chah-nulth has 12 dialects, though there is a huge gray area in determining whether two ways of speakinh are different languages, dialects or just variation.

Estimates on the number of speakers vary from 115 to 500, with the lower number probably closer to the actual number. Nuu-chah-nulth has 35 consonants, seven more than English, and has interesting linguistic properties.

According to “Lapsing languages offer different view of world” on the Times Colonist site, the last speaker of Nuchatlaht is Alban Michael (84 years old) and he rarely gets to use his language any more. It is only when he sees a friend who speaks the Mowachaht dialect, which is somewhat close to Nuchatlaht, that Michael uses his language.

You can find Michael’s voice on the Ehattesaht Nuchatlaht Community Portal of the FirstVoices website. Words he has recorded include kʷapiqiły̓aq (coffee pot), kałniiłiq (ceiling light) and  ʔusit (body).

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.