By Becky Johnson
“Language is something that happens in social interactions between people who hold that language in their minds,” said Hartwell Francis, the director of WCU’s Cherokee language program. “They are not thinking about how they are interacting; they are simply interacting through the language.”
Cherokee language proponents have collaborated with Google to launch a Cherokee language interface and Cherokee language version of GMail. One click of the mouse can switch the language settings to Cherokee for web searches and composing email messages.
The possibilities are vast. Whether it’s Cherokee YouTube videos or skyping with native Cherokee speakers, getting the language into new popular mediums could make the difference in the language surviving or dying down the road.