Friday, September 29, 2023

Smartphone in Cherokee: Motorola is the first smartphone manufacturer to provide a user interface in this language

Motorola is committed to embracing inclusivity as part of its mission to provide smarter technology for all. For this reason, last year they already announced a language revitalization project, becoming the first OEM to fully support two endangered indigenous languages (from the Amazon and southern Brazil) on mobile devices.

This is available in the family portfolio moto g (moto g200 5G, moto g100 5G, moto g 71 5G, moto g60, moto g51 5G, moto g41, and moto g31) and the new Motorola edge family. A few weeks ago, and in partnership with the Lenovo Foundation, the company took this commitment to digital inclusion a step further by announcing the addition of the Cherokee language to the user interface on Motorola devices that support Android 12, starting with the recently released Android 12 version. global level Motorola edge 30 Pro*

With this project, the company is working to provide a mobile experience that welcomes all users and collaborates with the conservation of indigenous languages ​​and cultures.

The Cherokee people

By selecting the Cherokee language as the next phase of this project, Motorola looked at many factors such as the percentage of speakers to indicate language loss, access to technologies, and availability of linguistic and intellectual knowledge.

It was found that although there are more than 400,000 Cherokee people in the United States (the largest of the 567 federally recognized tribal organizations in the country), less than 2% speak the native language. Now, by supporting the Cherokee language on Motorola devices, for the first time, Cherokee citizens will have access to a fully localized mobile phone user interface.

Citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the Cherokee Nation, like many other Americans in their use of technology, have a smartphone in their pocket. But this might not be the case for the approximately 178 EBCI native language speakers in existence since most of them are older people.

Vitality for the language

According to Cherokee scholar Benjamin E. Frey of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a key person in this project, one of the important points about this initiative is that it will help shorten the gap between older people who may not have great use of technology but who know the language and young people who might otherwise see the language as a relic of the past.

Combining language with technology demonstrates the continued vitality and viability of language to be part of the future Cherokee. This not only helps to preserve the language but also the history, culture, and identity of those who speak it.

Smartphone in Cherokee: Motorola is the first smartphone manufacturer to provide a user interface in this language
Cherokee in Motorola

“Going forward, our goal is to continue researching and fulfilling this revitalization project, including other extinct indigenous languages, as well as working to bring Cherokee language data to open source through and share our digitization process with other globalization professionals”, said Janine Oliveira, Executive Director of Globalization Software at Motorola Mobility. “We hope that this milestone will promote more actions for the revitalization in our industry, with more inclusive digital technology.”

This project could not have been done without the help of our localization provider partners and linguistic experts from the Cherokee Nation and EBCI. In the future, we will continue to investigate together with the indigenous communities and engage with regional teams to enrich Motorola’s experiences and the lives of our incredible consumers.


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