New Language Keyboard App
May 13, 2016
Most Indigenous writing systems use unique characters previously unavailable in mobile technologies. FirstVoices Keyboards was developed in response to multiple requests from First Nations youth who wanted to be able type in their own languages on their mobile devices.
“We are so excited to be able to offer this new keyboard app, which is the first of its kind in the world to allow easy communication on a mobile device across so many languages,” said Tracey Herbert, CEO at the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. “We were able to leverage our previous work in language technology to create this entirely new app, and are proud to share it at no cost in the spirit of Indigenous language revitalization.”
The app contains keyboard software for every First Nations language in Canada and New Zealand, plus some Indigenous languages in Australia and the USA. It ensures that Indigenous people can use their languages in their daily lives, which contributes to language revitalization.
“Language revitalization continues to be a top priority of B.C. First Nations and the New Relationship Trust (NRT),” said Cliff Fregin, CEO of the New Relationship Trust. We are pleased to continue to partner with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to support British Columbia First Nation Languages; this new FirstVoices keyboard app is an excellent example of combining innovation and technology to support First Nation’s communication in all aspects of their everyday life.”
A social media campaign on Twitter and Facebook from May 16 to May 20, 2016 invites people to download the app and tweet in their languages using these hashtags: #FVKeyboards and #nameofyourlanguage (E.g. SENĆOŦEN, Cree).
Link to full press release.
How to download:
iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/firstvoices-keyboards/id1066651145?mt=8
Android download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.firstvoices.keyboards
How to use:
When FirstVoices Keyboards is installed on an Apple or Android mobile phone or tablet, any one of more than 100 plus custom keyboards can be activated in any application on the device. Users are able to select their keyboard(s) of choice within their email, social media, word processing, or other apps, enabling unlimited communication in their mother language.
Usersguides: iOS | Android
FirstVoices Keyboards was funded by the New Relationship Trust.
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