A pedestrian makes a call with his Motorola Razr cell phone in downtown Chicago. File picture: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
A pedestrian makes a call with his Motorola Razr cell phone in downtown Chicago. File picture: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Motorola preserves endangered languages with new phones

By Floyd Matlala Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

Share this article:

If you are a Motorola user and a firm believer in preserving and recognising the importance of indigenous languages then you might be excited for this one.

The multinational telecommunications and smartphone manufacturer Motorola has added support to two new indigenous languages spoken in Latin America as they aim to make technology more accessible.

The American tech giant announced that two Latin American indigenous languages Kaingang and Nheengatu will be made available among the language options on updated Android 11 Motorola devices

According to The Verge, Motorola’s executive director for globalization software, Janine Oliveira said: “We believe that this initiative will raise awareness towards language revitalization, not only will impact the communities that we’re working directly with but right now we’re in the process of open-sourcing all that language data from Android into Unicode. And by doing that we believe that we’re going to pave the way for more endangered indigenous languages to be added, not only on Android but also on other smartphones.”

The company said this will help the indigenous communities as they rely heavily on mobile technology and teachers use their mobile phones in their classroom to teach their curriculum

“We know that for most people it will be just another language in a drop-down menu but for the people who speak that language, it’s a big innovation. It is part of the bigger mindset we have about digital inclusion,” she said.

The company said this move to incorporate the indigenous languages into its system won’t have much return as far as users and investment are concerned.

Globalization manager and head linguist at Motorola’s mobile business group Juliana Rebelatto said it was their colleague Robert Melo, Motorola’s internationalization lead, who first realized that there were no Latin American indigenous languages represented in any form of digitalized technology.

IOL TECH

Share this article: