Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chamorro Language Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps Aim To Help People Learn Chamorro Language
Guam groups release ‘Speak Chamorro,’ ‘Learn Chamorro’ apps

By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, March 19, 2015) – New technology is expanding the ways people can learn Chamorro.

Two groups recently created mobile apps to help people learn the Chamorro language. The Young Men's League of Guam released the "Speak Chamorro" app last week, and Troy Aguon, publisher of Learn Chamorro, a digital publication that helps people learn the language, said the "Learn Chamorro" app will be released soon.

'Speak Chamorro'

The "Speak Chamorro" app from the Young Men's League of Guam is available on Google Play and is expected to be available in Apple's App Store as soon as it gets approved, Young Men's League of Guam Public Affairs Officer Wil Castro said. The app is free to download.

The app features a Chamorro word of the day with the definition and the use of the Chamorro word in a sentence with the English translation.

The Guam Department of Education Chamorro Studies Division is a development partner for the app, Castro said.

Ron Laguana, administrator of the division and member of the league's board of directors, assists the league by providing the content used in the app, a release from the league states.

Castro said the app was prioritized to celebrate Mes Chamorro, or Chamorro month, and to celebrate the league's centennial anniversary coming in 2017.

So far the response to the app has been good, he added, and the league also has received ideas to improve it.
The group already is looking into improving the app by adding more features, such as pronunciation, conversation pieces and others, Castro said.

The technical developer for the app is local company Niche Creative, he said.

'Learn Chamorro'

For Aguon, the "Learn Chamorro" app started six years ago when he was looking for tools to help teach his kids how to speak Chamorro. There weren't many tools available then so he created the Learn Chamorro DVD and then went on to create other tools such as his website and, now, the app.
The app's demo was completed Dec. 24, he said.

The "Learn Chamorro" app is kid-focused with a game that uses images and words to help children learn Chamorro.

Aguon said the app is made for kids because they are the ones who will keep the Chamorro language alive.

The app also has audio, so a user can click on a word and hear its pronunciation, Aguon said.
It also shows a user's game score and has a share feature so users can post on social media.

Aguon said he plans to have an islandwide competition for kids using the app, in which they can win prizes. Weekly competitions with prizes also are planned.

The app's features include a dictionary, important phrases and a podcast on Guam history. The dictionary will include Chamorro-to-English and English-to-Chamorro translation.

The app also will have installments and updates that will increase the number of features available, Aguon said.

Learn Chamorro is working with local company Onlink to develop the app, he added.

"All the sponsors of this app have stepped up to promote, preserve and perpetuate the beautiful Chamorro language and culture," he said. "Not just during Mes Chamorro but all day, every day, all year long."

The "Learn Chamorro" app will be free to download, he said, because of support from generous sponsors.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2015 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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