December 03, 2008

iRez Language Pal debuts

Language Learning Gets More High-TechThornton Media, Inc., a Indian-owned firm based in Banning Calif, plans to launch two new Native language learning products at the 2008 National Indian Education Association Conference, held October 23-26 in Seattle, Wash.

The first is a hand-held language teacher called the iRez Language Pal. The device is much like Phraselator, a hand-held device developed by Voxtec to help troops serving in the Middle East translate Arabic words to English. It records and translates audio and video files and stores language via a flash memory card, holding up to 85,000 phrases and words.

Thornton Media adapted the product for Native language instruction and marketed it to tribes for about three years. But the $3,300 price tag limited accessibility. It decided to develop a more affordable product.

Offered at a quarter of the cost, iRez Language Pal is smaller and more advanced. It comes with a half dozen new features, like crossword puzzles, flashcards and a car tutor system.

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