每日英語跟讀 Ep.K331: Cherokee on a smartphone: Part of a drive to save a language
By itself, being able to read smartphone home screens in Cherokee won’t be enough to safeguard the Indigenous language, endangered after a long history of erasure. But it might be a step toward immersing younger tribal citizens in the language spoken by a dwindling number of their elders.
That’s the hope of Principal Chief Richard Sneed of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who’s counting on more inclusive consumer technology — and the involvement of a major tech company — to help out.
Sneed and other Cherokee leaders have spent several months consulting with Lenovo-owned Motorola, which last week introduced a Cherokee language interface on its newest 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 Cherokee Nation’s Sequoyah in the early 1800s.
斯尼德和其他 Cherokee 領導人花了幾個月的時間諮詢聯想旗下的摩托羅拉，後者上週在其最新的手機系列中引入了 Cherokee 語言界面。現在，手機用戶將能夠使用 1800 年代初切諾基民族的 Sequoyah 首次創建的基於音節的語言的書面形式來查找應用程序和切換設置。
Several big tech companies have expressed interest in recent years in making their technology work better for endangered Indigenous languages, more to show their good will or advance speech recognition research than to fulfill a business imperative. Microsoft’s text translation service recently added Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut, spoken in the Canadian Arctic, and grassroots artificial intelligence researchers are doing similar projects throughout the Americas and beyond. But there’s a long way to go before digital voice assistants understand these languages as well as they do English — and for some languages the time is running out.
Sneed and Benjamin Frey, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said they recognize that some Cherokee will have concerns about tech companies making a product feature of their work to preserve their language — whether it’s a text-based interface like Motorola’s or potential future projects that could record speech to build a voice assistant or real-time translator.
斯尼德和Cherokee印第安人東部樂隊成員、北卡羅來納大學教堂山分校教授 Benjamin Frey 表示，他們認識到，一些Cherokee人會擔心科技公司會擔心科技公司會在他們的工作中使用產品功能來保護他們的語言——無論是像摩托羅拉這樣的基於文本的界面，還是未來可能會錄製語音或語音助手或實時翻譯的項目。
Frey didn’t grow up speaking Cherokee, largely due to his grandmother’s experiences of being punished for speaking the language when she was sent to boarding school. For over 150 years, Indigenous children in the US and Canada were taken from their communities and forced into boarding schools that focused on assimilation.
Frey長大後並沒有說Cherokee語，這主要是因為他的祖母在被送到寄宿學校時因為說這種語言而受到懲罰。 150 多年來，美國和加拿大的原住民兒童被帶離他們的社區，被迫進入專注於同化的寄宿學校。
She and others of her generation were beaten for speaking the language, had her mouth washed out with soap and was told that “English was the only way to get ahead in the world,” Frey said.
她和她那一代的其他人因為說這種語言而遭到毆打，用肥皂漱口，並被告知“英語是在世界上取得成功的唯一途徑” Frey 說。
Frey hopes the new tool will be a conversation-starter between older Cherokee language speakers and their tech-savvy grandkids.
Frey 希望這個新工具能成為講Cherokee語的老人和他們精通技術的孫輩之間的對話開始者。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/03/08/2003774355