Preserving an Indigenous language? There’s an app for that

The Athabasca Tribal Council is launching a new mobile phone app that it hopes will help preserve the Cree language dialect of northeastern Alberta.

The app is called ATC Cree. It translates 120 Cree words into English and plays audio of their pronunciations. Close to 450 words have been recorded and are expected to be added to the app later.

Byron Bates, an app developer and Athabasca Tribal Council member, created the app with help from other ATC members. In 2000, the council helped fund Bates’ four-year education in software development. He sees this as a way to pay them back, while helping to preserve the language of his people, he says.

“Your language is a big part of your identity and I think this will help with the younger generation who all have smart phones and they all use apps and it will help keep the language alive a little bit better,” said Bates.

Read more: CBC News

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