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Typing emails in Cherokee now possible

Filed by KOSU News in Local News.
November 20, 2012

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It all started with a car ride. Craig Cornelius, a senior software engineer at Google, carpooled back to San Francisco with a member of the Cherokee Nation, and they got to talking. And so now, after hundreds of hours of work by both sides, users can type out their emails in Gmail in Cherokee.

“No, your word for afternoon is too long to fit in the place where we normally put PM for the time, so can you invent a new way of saying that in fewer characters? They spent a huge amount of time figuring out how to say things like Spam, or I’d like to chat with you.”

That’s Cornelius. So how did Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker react?

“To hear it was one thing, but to actually see one of our young people actually emailing a piece, I don’t have the words to tell you. I almost cried.”

The Cherokee language is the 57th for Gmail, and the Chief says the increase in daily communication will revitalize their language.

One Response to “Typing emails in Cherokee now possible”

  1. Joel says:

    Cool to hear this on Morning Edition. I had this goofy feeling that our station had made the big time.

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