App allows users to write Cherokee syllabary

BY TESINA JACKSON
Former Reporter
03/16/2011 08:40 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Writing Cherokee app allows users to learn how to write the Cherokee syllabary. The user will hear the character and then learn how to write the character by writing on the screen with a finger. COURTESY PHOTO
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Writing Cherokee app allows users to learn how to write the Cherokee syllabary. The user will hear the character and then learn how to write the character by writing on the screen with a finger. COURTESY PHOTO
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Thornton Media Inc. has released its latest application, or app, that allows people to learn how to write the Cherokee syllabary on the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod screens with their fingers. The app is called Writing Cherokee.

“I know the Cherokee Nation has a mandate to use the syllabary, to bring back the syllabary,” said TMI President Don Thornton. “Myself, I don’t know the syllabary, so I’m using the app myself to learn it. It’s one of the reasons I created it. It’s a good way for the average Cherokee to learn the syllabary.”

Writing Cherokee consists of audio recordings of the 85-character syllabary, narrated by fluent Cherokee speaker Harry Oosahwee. Users play the sound of the character and see it being written. Then users can practice writing it using a finger on the screen.

“Well it’s a pretty simple application. It’s hard to write the Cherokee syllabary, so basically on an iPad for instance, and of course we have apps for iPads, iPod and iPhone, but on an iPad for instance, you just select the row and you can select the individual character and play the characters. You hear it spoken by a fluent speaker and you can see it written. The app will write it for you and you can practice by writing on the screen,” Thornton said. “You use your finger and you just practice writing it over and over.”

The application, which is the first application that allows users to write in Cherokee, was created based on the declining number of Cherokee speakers during the past 30 years. It uses a high-tech approach to teach an ancient language.

“We’ve wanted to do a writing Cherokee app for a while. We just haven’t had time to do it,” Thornton said. “It’s sort of, I guess, a bit of a no-brainer because the hand-held devices that are out there now sort of tailor made for this type of learning. So it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while just haven’t had time to do. We just recently got around to doing it.”

TMI creates custom hi-tech tools to help save endangered indigenous languages. It’s Native-owned and has worked with more than 150 American Indian tribes and Canadian First Nation since 1995. TMI is the only language tool company in the world devoted to Native languages.

Cherokee Writing is currently available for download worldwide in the App Store and iTunes for $4.99.

The TMI app is separate from Cherokee font that come standard on many Apple products.

tesina-jackson@cherokee.org • (918) 453-5000, ext. 6139
ᏣᎳᎩ

By TESINA JACKSON
ᏗᎦᏃᏣᎵᏍᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ.—Thornton Media Inc. ᏚᏲᏏ ᎠᏔᏲᏍᏙᏗ, ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᏗᏣᎳᎩ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᏴᏫ ᏧᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏒᎦᏔ iPad ᎠᎴ iPhone ᏓᏂᏱᏌᏛ ᎬᏗ.

“ᎠᏆᏅᏔ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏂᎲᎢ ᏚᏚᎪᏔᏂ ᏧᏃᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᎬᏙᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ TMI ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Don Thornton. “ᎠᏮᏌ ᎨᏒ, Ꮭ ᏱᏓᏆᏅᏔ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ, ᎯᎢᏃ ᎤᎾᏄᎪᏨ ᎬᏗᎭ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏉᏝᏅ ᎯᎠ. ᎣᏍᏗᏃ ᎬᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᏕᎶᏆᏍ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏗᎢ.”

ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏗ ᏗᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏛᎪᏗ ᏗᎦᏂᏴᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏍᎪ-ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᎦ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ Harry Oosahwee. ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎩ ᏓᎾᏛᏓᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᏚᏃᏴᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᎪᏩᏗᏍᎪ ᏂᎬᏁᏗ ᎪᏪᎶᏗᎢ. ᏃᏊᏃ ᎠᏁᏗᏍᎩ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎠᏂᏰᏌᏛ ᎬᏗ ᎾᎿ iPad ᎠᎴ iPhone ᎢᏧᎳ ᎯᎠ.

“ᎡᎵᏃ ᎠᎯᏗ ᎬᏙᏗ. ᎠᏍᏓᏯ ᎪᏪᎶᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ, ᎾᏃ ᏯᏛᎾ iPad, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏔᏲᏍᏙᏗ ᏚᏂᏁ ᎾᎿ iPads, iPod ᎠᎴ iPhone, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᎾᎿ iPad, ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᎠᏍᏗᏅᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᏌᏊᎭ ᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏃᏴᎬᎢ.

ᎠᏛᎪᏗ ᎠᏂᏁᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎧᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎪᏪᎸᎢ. ᎯᎢᎾ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᏱᏦᏪᎳᏏ ᎠᎴ ᏯᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏗ ᏦᏪᎶᏗ ᎾᎿ screen,” ᎤᏛᏅ Thornton. “ ᏂᎯ ᎯᏰᏌᏛ ᏨᏙᏗ ᏦᏪᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏯᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏗ ᏦᏪᎶᏗᎢ ᎤᏩᎦᏘᎶᏓ.”

ᎯᎢᎾ ᏧᎾᏚᏅᎾ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎤᏂᏔᏲᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ, ᎪᏢᏅ ᎯᎠ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᎦᏲᎶᎬ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏊ ᏦᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ. ᏙᎯᏳᏃ ᎨᎳ ᎤᏃᎷᏩᏛᏓ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᎬᏕᏲᏗ.

“ᎣᎦᏚᎵᏍᎬᏃ ᎯᎠ ᎪᏪᎶᏗ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏗ ᎠᏔᏲᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᎯᎦ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏝᏊᏃ ᏯᏝᏅᏓᏗᏍᎨ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Thornton. “ ᎨᎵᏍᎬᏛ, ᎯᎢᎾ, ᏍᏗᎩᏓ ᎤᏅᏥᏓ ᏄᏢᏅ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏥᎨᏐ ᎯᎢᎾ ᎠᏱᏓᏍᏗ ᏃᏊ ᏥᏚᏂᎯ ᎬᏙᏗ ᏃᏊ ᎯᎠ ᏣᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ. ᎯᎢᏃ ᎣᎦᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᏲᎦᏛᏗ ᏝᏊᏃ ᏯᏝᏅᏓᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎾᏝᎬᏊ ᏃᎦᏛᏁᎸᎢ.”

TMI ᎪᏢᏅᏍᎪ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎬᏔᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᏗᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᏗᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ. ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ - ᎤᏤᎵ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏂᎾᏢᏅ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪᎯ ᏯᏂ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎠᎴ Canadian ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏂᏛᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏐᏁᎳᏗ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏈ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. TMI ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏗᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᏃᏢᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎤᏃᎯᏳ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏧᏂᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ.

ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎠᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎠᎴ ᎬᎩᏍᏗ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏒᎦᏔ iTunes ᏓᏓᎾᏅ ᎯᎠ ᎢᎦ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᏅᎦᏕᎸ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏐᏁᎳ.

tesina-jackson@cherokee.org • (918) 453-5000, ext. 6139

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