November 28, 2007

Phraselator revitalizes Oneida

Military device holds key to saving Oneida language Some of the 2,000-strong community's eldest--only 90 still speak fluent Oneida--spent yesterday recording phrases in their native language onto machines called Phraselators.

"This is going to revitalize our language before it dies," said Mary Elijah, director of Oneida Language and Cultural Centre, gesturing to one of eight hand-held devices recently bought by the settlement. "This (Phraselator) is going to outlive everybody."

And not a moment too soon, she said, adding the youngest Oneida speaker is 50 years old, and most are over 70.

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