Part of a disc to save a language

This undated image provided by the Motorola Globalization team shows an example of customization options in Cherokee’s Moto app. Users can customize fonts, layouts and more. Cherokee executives have spent several months consulting Lenovo-owned Motorola, which last week introduced a Cherokee-language interface to its new line of phones. (Motorola Globalization team via AP)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP/KFOR) – The largest Native American nation in the United States hopes technology can help them save their endangered language.

On its own, being able to read smartphone home screens in Cherokee won’t be enough to save the native language, which is on the verge of extinction after a long history of erasure.

But it could be a step toward immersing young tribal citizens in the language spoken by a dwindling number of their elders.

Cherokee executives have spent several months consulting Lenovo-owned Motorola, which last week introduced a Cherokee-language interface to its new line of phones.

Now, phone users will be able to find apps and toggle settings using the syllable-based written form of the language first created by the Sequoyah of the Cherokee Nation in the early 1800s.

“For me, the fact that Motorola and companies like them are using the technology that they’re developing to really reach out and include and spread a language or whatever for a minority group is a way for me to demonstrate, you know, that businesses can care,” said Richard Sneed, Senior Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Cherokee language will be available on Motorola’s “Edge Plus” phones that will go on sale in the spring of 2022.

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