Mexican students create app to learn Tseltal

Tseltal is a Mayan language spoken in Chiapas
Mexican students create app to learn Tseltal
Tseltal community - Photo: Pasqual Gorriz/AP
17/10/2018
11:20
Notimex
Mexico City
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Students from the Intercultural University of Chiapas (Unich) developed an app to learn Tseltal, a widely spoken indigenous language in Chiapas.

The creators, from the Language and Culture major, Mario Fernando Hernández Cruz, from the Ejido Pedernal, municipality, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, who is a speaker of Tsotsil, and José Alfredo López Gómez, from Ejido Tomás Munzer, Ocosingo, who speaks Tseltal.

The app's aim is to spread this language and contribute to its preservation, since learning indigenous languages is not encouraged, said the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt), through its information agency.

Their project includes the production of teaching material and Tseltal dissemination. The mobile app is aimed at the Unich's students, speakers or non-speakers of Tseltal.

This is so they have a technological tool to learn or interact more with the language, and the creators expressed their desire to keep this language alive.

As the students don't have training in programming or design, they received support from professors.

Miguel Sánchez Álvarez, a professor at Unich and speaker of Tsotsil, emphasized the importance of this project: "The situation of native languages, nationally and globally, is critical; they are in danger of extinction, even though the indigenous population has grown, its speaking population has decreased," he said.
 

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