Surviving for centuries and advancing across cultures, the Native American Cherokee language has gone digital and is now available for iPhone and iPod touch handhelds running iOS 4.1:
The Cherokee Nation has been working with the software developers at Apple, Inc. for several years to incorporate the tribe’s unique written language, called the Cherokee syllabary, into new technology offered by the software giant. Cherokee is the first Native language to be featured on Apple, Inc. devices, and one of about only 40 languages overall.
“People communicate differently today,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith. “Including our language on the iPhone and iPod makes it accessible to more people, especially our youth. This is critical to the survival and growth of our language.”
Email, text messaging and other apps now have access to the language as a native part of the operating system. The Cherokee Nation website contains instructions for how to use the Cherokee syllabary (and how to type on the ᏣᎳᎩ keyboard).