Gmail Launches In Cherokee (GWY)

    November 19, 2012
    Chris Crum
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Today, Google announced the launch of Gmail in its 57th language. In March of last year, Google added Cherokee to the list of languages for search, and now the language, also known as GWY, is available for Gmail. Both include a virtual keyboard.

Gmail in Cherokee

Google software engineer Craig Cornelius explains how the addition of the language came to Google products:

It was just coincidence that I, a Google engineer working on the internationalization of Google products, ended up carpooling back to San Francisco with Vance Blackfox, member of the Cherokee Nation (CN) from an event we’d both attended. But that coincidence kick-started a collaboration that would result in Google Web Search in Cherokee and, starting today, Gmail in Cherokee.

After a 2002 survey of the Oklahoma Cherokee population found that no one under 40 spoke conversational Cherokee, the Cherokee Nation saw an opportunity to use technology to encourage everyday use of the language among the younger generation. Vance connected me with the language technology department at the Cherokee Nation, and the Gmail team worked closely with their highly organized team of volunteers, which ranged from university students to Durbin Feeling–Cherokee living treasure and author of the Cherokee-English Dictionary. Together, we were able to find and implement the right words for hundreds of Gmail terms, from “inbox” (ᎧᏁᏌᎢᏱ) and “sign in” (ᏕᏣᏙᎥ ᎰᏪᎸᎦ) to “spam” (ᎤᏲᎢ).

Google does not mention if the language will be coming to other products. Google Translate seems like a no-brainer.

  • J Loa

    Just a simple FYI…

    Tsa-La-Gi means Cherokee in the Cherokee language. The three symbols which look like a G-W-Y are actually those three sounds (syllables) as they would appear written in Cherokee.

    • Thayla ManyCats Barrett

      Wado ( Thank you )for adding Cherokee Language it is a lost language I myself am learning my tribal language