Google has introduced the app Woolaroo which focuses on learning these indigenous languages worldwide.
A Novel Idea
The idea for the app stemmed from the situation of Yugambeh, an Indigenous Australian language of southeast Queensland. Ancient and indigenous languages whose vocabularies have traditionally emphasized the outdoors but might lack terms for certain modern items and concepts, many children struggle to learn Yugambeh in such a contemporary world.
For example, Yugambeh has no natural word for “refrigerator” or “telephone,” meaning speakers of the language must substitute terms that describe those items, such as “cold place” and “voice thrower,” apparently.
Yugambeh will be the first indigenous language featured on the Google Arts & Culture experimental Woolaroo app, a trial using Google Cloud Vision API. With its starting point at the Yugambeh Museum, the app utilizes three decades of cultural and local language research to help preserve Aboriginal languages, as they adapt to an evolving Australia, including updates in marvellous tech .
Allan Lena, a native speaker of Yugambeh, the CEO of Yugambeh Museum Rory O’Connor has high hopes for how an app like Woolaroo can both help safeguard a small language such as Yugambeh as well as introduce more young people of many backgrounds to the culture and language. He says that given how few people still speak this language fluently, Woolaroo can share this crucial knowledge with the newer generation for the future.
Currently, the app supports 10 global languages including Calabrian Greek, Louisiana Creole, Māori, Nawat, Tamazight, Rapa Nui, Sicilian, Yang Zhuang, Yiddish and Yugambeh as per Google Blog.
Big advantage of Woolaroo remains the ability of users to add and edit the app’s content for the most up-to-date quality of material. That means that if a user or any family members speak even just a few words in any of these languages, they stand to make a significant contribution to Woolaroo.
Another benefit of this application offers users who wish to learn an indigenous language the opportunity to dive right in. That way, people of many different backgrounds and living around the world can discover more about the minority and native communities in the region where they reside.