FirstVoices app translates English to Indigenous languages

If you’ve always wanted to text in Cree, Anishinabemowin or Maori, there’s an app for that.

FirstVoices was created by First Peoples’ Cultural Council in British Columbia and has over 100 Indigenous languages including those from Canada, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

Once you choose a language like Blackfoot, Dene or Wendat, the app will customize your keyboard for the special characters required so you can text, send Facebook messages and even tweet.

Trish Rosborough is an assistant professor of Indigenous education specializing in language revitalization at the University of Victoria.

A grandmother of nine, Rosborough has been using it to communicate in her mother’s tongue — Kwak’wala.

“That evening when the app had come out, somebody from my home community was texting me late into the night, well late for us grandmothers,” she said. “[lt was] almost midnight and she’s saying, ‘I really need to go to bed but I want to text in our language.'”

Read more: CBC/Radio-Canada