Languages around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate, about one every two weeks. And because most of these languages are non-written languages, once they are gone, they are gone forever, even from memory. Without a doubt, however, the greatest tool out there for combating this trend is the internet. The internet provides many methods for empowering speakers of minority languages. People can create indigenous language websites, archives of oral recordings, or online language lessons for non-speakers who may want to learn a minority language, as well as many other things. These sites are not only practical, but impactful as communities realize that their often-ignored language is just as useful for modern online communication as more dominant languages are.
That is why Wuqu’Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance is proud to help promote the launch of Wachwuj! Wachwuj simply means ‘Facebook’ in Kaqchikel, the indigenous Mayan language spoken by most of the communities we work with. By going to www.wachwuj.com, anyone can download and install a program that provides a Kaqchikel interface for Facebook. The program is free and easy to install. With this product, thousands of native-speakers of Kaqchikel who do not speak English or Spanish will be able to access the world’s most popular social network!
Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance has always thought of ‘Health’ very broadly. We want our communities to have healthy culture and language as well as healthy bodies. This is why we have strived to engage communities in linguistically and culturally responsible ways. Keep an eye on our blog over the coming week for more language-related announcements, including highlights from our neologisms projects and new health-related radio announcements we have been producing! You can also follow us on facebook or twitter for the latest news on these topics!