Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA Thanks to the groundbreaking efforts of Native Innovation, Inc., an American Indian owned and veteran small business from Arizona, Apple users can now download the Navajo Keyboard app for their iPhones and iPads through iTunes.
The application became available earlier this month and is free.
The Navajo Keyboard makes it possible for users to type in and removes many of the frustrations that users have with typing the Navajo language using the default iPhone and iPad keyboard.
This application places an extra row of keys on its keyboard, allowing you access to specific Navajo characters without depressing the letter. A slide bar is included that you can turn on and off to transition between your Navajo keyboard and the default iPhone and iPad keyboard.
“We wanted to provide something for our younger generations that is unique and promotes the language,”
said Jerome Tsosie, president and co-owner of Native Innovation, Inc.
The performance of the Navajo Keyboard app supports sharing what you have written through social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Messages, plus Email. Overall, Navajo Keyboard is essential to all Navajo Language Enthusiasts because of its speed, usability and plain usefulness.
"Fewer and fewer Navajo children are speaking less and less Navajo. Almost all entering Kindergarten children coming to school are monolingual speakers of English. The average age of Navajo speakers is increasing. Though about 56 percent of the 300,000 plus Navajo are speakers of Navajo, this is down from about 60 percent ten years ago,"
according to Florian Tom Johnson, who designed the layout of the Navajo Keyboard.
“As a language planner, for Navajo not to become endangered, we must do everything possible so Navajo speakers continue to use Navajo with each other and with those learning to speak Navajo,”
Navajos are not exempt from technology. Technology is used for instant mass communication ranging from the cell phone, emails, to the worldwide web including social networking. Texting, posting statuses and instant messaging through written Navajo encourages speakers of Navajo to continue using Navajo with each other in the presence of all.
“ Navajo language must regain its function in Navajo society for Navajos to continue using the language. This, Navajo Keyboard, is only one of many ways to do that,”
Native Innovation, Inc. mission is to provide revolutionary technology and education solutions to Native American communities with a goal to reinvest its profits back into the Navajo Nation by providing employment.
posted November 29, 2012 11:50 am est