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Crowdsourcing Helped Build New Diné Language App

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A new Diné language app released September 13 in the iTunes store was pulled together by not just one person, or even a small group of people. A community of Diné language enthusiasts contributed from around the world to build the app.

The app was developed in January 2013 by Kialo Winters, of Na' Neelzhiin—Torreon, New Mexico. It began that same month as a blog called Diné Web 2.0, “which promoted Diné language learning by seeing and hearing spoken word by searching through categories of situational Diné words and phrases,” according to a release from the company that created the app, Native Innovation, Inc.

The company also wanted to create a place on the web for collaborators to add Diné language samples.

“This goal of community based sharing helped develop the move from a desktop browser to a mobile app design,” the release says. “The concept of crowdsourcing common Diné words and phrases allows us to input the regional variations of pronunciations and vocabularies spoken by our Diné people.”

The Diné Bizaad App has two parts, a Diné-English vocabulary and an English-Diné vocabulary.

Native Innovation, Inc.

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Jerome Tsosie, Native Innovation president; LaVelda Tsosie, education research specialist; Kialo Winters, education technology specialist.

The company has identified three goals of the app:

You will be able to read and hear, through spoken word, enunciated Diné letter consonants, diphthongs, glottal and nasal sounds and vowels.

You will be able to identify self-help and intrinsic motivations to learn the Diné language through dialogue synchronously and asynchronously with friends, family and neighbors.

You will be able to use this as a language-learning tool that accompanies language curriculums in any formal education institutions.

And, the app is free in the iTunes store. Start brushing up on Diné today.

Kialo Winters presents the Diné Bizaad app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at the 68th Annual Navajo Nation Fair. He guaranteed everyone would be high-fiving the Native Innovation crew after they saw what features were in the app. A father asks, “Did you just say FREE?” YES FREE!!