Learning and growing local languages

The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana is the newest community to begin development of a languagelearning program in partnership with Rosetta Stone, Inc., helping to revive use of the Sitimaxa language, which had been thought to be lost.

Working with the Endangered Language Program (ELP), the tribe will own distribution and sales rights to their version of the software. Previous ELP projects have been developed programs for the Mohawk community of Kahnawake and the NANA Corporation of Alaska (Inupiaq). Another version is planned for the Tornagasok Cultural Centre (Inuttitut) in Labrador.

A full version of the story is available here and from the ELP. Also see “Software helps revitalize use of Mohawk language,” MultiLingual #82 (September 2006).

In separate but related developments, the Avataq Cultural Institute’s 17th Nunavik Inuit Elders’ Conference in Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavut (Canada), had a theme of Inuttitut language preservation. Elders were asked to attend the conference “armed with 10 modern words, such as computer, television or microwave, to discuss with the group,” according to a report in the Nunatsiaq News.

Cheers to the communities, the Cultural Institute and to Rosetta Stone for their efforts to keep endangered languages not only alive but developing!


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