Apple has quietly added support for the American Indian language “Cherokee” to the iOS 4.1.
Accoding to AP “Tribal officials first contacted Apple about getting Cherokee on the iPhone three years ago. Tribal Chief Chad Smith said that of 290,000 members, only about 8,000 spoke the Cherokee language, with most 50 or older, leaving the language in serious danger of dying out.
Teachers at the Cherokee Nation language immersion school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma realised a tech-savvy solution was likely the only way to get the younger generation interested in the language.
“If you don’t figure out a way to keep technology exciting and innovative for the language, kids have a choice when they get on a cell phone,” Joseph Erb, a worker in the Cherokee Nation’s language technology division, said.
“If it doesn’t have Cherokee on it, they all speak English. They’ll just give up their Cherokee … because the cool technology is in English. So we had to figure out a way to make the cool technology in Cherokee.””
Cherokee is now supported on iPhone and iPod touch devices running iOS 4.1 or later, with iPad support apparently on the way.