Native Village 
Youth and Education News

December  2012

Gmail Now Supports Cherokee, Its First Native American Tribal Language
Condensed by Native Village

Google has added Cherokee as Gmail’s 57th supported language.  This is the first Native American tribal language in Google's Gmail language selection.

A 2002 survey among Oklahoma Cherokee showed that, “no one under 40 spoke conversational Cherokee.” Because of this survey, the Cherokee Nation began to explore technology as a way to encourage a new generation to use the language. The Gmail team and Cherokee Nation the worked together to make Cherokee Language Gmail possible.

Google writes that by working together with Durbin Feeling – the author of the Cherokee-English Dictionary – the teams “were able to find and implement the right words for hundreds of Gmail terms, from “inbox” (ᎧᏁᏌᎢᏱ) and “sign in” (ᏕᏣᏙᎥ ᎰᏪᎸᎦ) to “spam” (ᎤᏲᎢ).”

As part of this effort, Google also added Cherokee to its recently launched virtual keyboards for Gmail. This, says Google, will enable Cherokee students to “easily contact their tribal elders, e.g., “Joseph wants to chat” (“ᏦᏏᏫ ᎤᏚᎵ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ”) and connect instantly.”

The language can be changed under the Language Tools page. Google also includes an onscreen Cherokee keyboard to make it easier for people to search web content in Cherokee without a physical keyboard.


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