Eduardo Avila reports for PRI on a heartening success story for one of the better-known Native American languages:
From the printing press and the typewriter to today’s readily available digital technologies like computers and smart phones, the Cherokee language is fully functional thanks to the help of tireless advocates and activists.
As one of the most actively used native languages in the US, the Cherokee language is spoken by populations in North Carolina and Oklahoma, as well as other states across the country. While more people are now able to write the Cherokee language with syllabics — written characters that each represent a syllable — retaining and encouraging more speakers of the language continues to be a high priority. And the use of technology has been one way to attract increased interest.
A new animated video produced by the Cherokee Nation Education Services and the Language Technology Program tells the story of this adoption of new technologies over time. Narrated by the Cherokee hero Sequoyah, who created the first Cherokee syllabary in 1821, the video introduces viewers to some of these breakthroughs.
The five-minute video is in Cherokee (with English subtitles) and is a lot of fun to watch; I just wish my Aunt Bettie were still alive, because she loved everything Cherokee and would have gotten a huge kick out of this. Thanks for the link, Trevor!