October 16, 2010

Guide to Indian-language manuscripts

American Indian-language manuscripts guide available onlineA new guide to historical manuscripts in American Indian languages went online this week at Turning Points in Wisconsin History. It is the fruit of a yearlong partnership between the University of Wisconsin and the Society’s Library and Archives, which have worked successfully together for more than a century to collect, preserve and share Wisconsin history.

October 12, 2010

Learning Latin American languages

Trying out indigenous languages

At UCLA and other schools, some students are forgoing French, Spanish and Chinese to try indigenous Latin American languages such as Zapotec, Mixtec and Quechua. Some leap in for the adventure. Others want to get closer to their roots.

By Esmeralda Bermudez
Still, at UCLA and a few other universities, some are pushing aside French, Spanish and Chinese to try rarely offered indigenous Latin American languages such as Zapotec, Mixtec, Aymara and Quechua.

Some leap in for the adventure. Others want to get closer to their roots. History and anthropology students sometimes sign up for the sake of research. And then there are the doctors, social workers and teachers who hope to put what they learn to immediate practical use.

"Learning standard languages doesn't help you understand the needs of regional areas," said Ramona Perez, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. "But indigenous languages show you all the diversity we have."

October 10, 2010

Cherokee on the iPhone keyboard

Cherokee now included on iPhone keyboard

By Robert Evatt Though the fifth-grade class at the Cherokee Nation Immersion School in Tahlequah use computers throughout the school day, their eyes light up when education services staff let them borrow iPhones.

Within seconds they cluster around the gadgets, happily tapping out messages like countless other cell-phone users.

But unlike most, their texts aren't in English--they're in Cherokee.

And they aren't using specially modified iPhones. Every one of the estimated 100 million global iPhone users running iOS 4.1, the latest version of the smart phone's software released last month, already have support for the distinct Cherokee language within their device.
Below:  "Sean Sikora (left), Cambria Bird, Alayna Harkreader, Lauren Hummingbird (seated) and Maggie Sourjohn laugh while working on a Macbook at the Cherokee Nation Immersion School." (Mike Simons/Tulsa World)

October 08, 2010

Documentary on New England languages

Film delves into Indian language, culture in Maine Rockland-based documentary filmmaker Ben Levine will be at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick on Tuesday to show and talk about his film "Language of America: An Indian Story."

Filmed over a period of six years in native communities throughout New England, the film shows how language is not only a tool for communication but a window into a culture that has existed in Maine for more than 9,000 years. The story follows members of three New England tribes--Passamaquoddy, Wampanoag and Narragansett--as they struggle to maintain their language.