By Alysa Landry
Navajo, traditionally an oral language, still is spoken by more than 100,000 people, making it the most common American Indian language north of Mexico.
Yet use and fluency among the younger generations is on a decline with about 50 percent of Navajo age 17 and younger unable to speak their native language at all, according to data from the 2000 U.S. Census.
The software is the result of thousands of hours of work and hundreds of volunteers who provided expertise, photos, audio recordings and cultural support to the project.
Language-Learning Provider Helps Promote Native American Language Use among Younger Generations
"We're excited that the Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program can play a role in encouraging younger generations to use the Navajo language," said Marion Bittinger, manager of the Endangered Language Program. "We're optimistic our work with indigenous groups will be a step toward reversing the tide of global language extinction."