Language learning company Rosetta Stone’s Inupiaq language software is the latest in their roster of Endangered Language Program projects. The company began partnering with Native American communities in 2004 to produce software that would help teach endangered languages to the next generation of language learners, as well as enable elders to reconnect with languages that had been lost through lack of practice.
Rosetta Stone employs a “dynamic immersion method.” Their language programs come in the form of software that is run over the user’s computer. Users are presented with pictures, text, and sound representing vocabulary terms and illustrating grammatical concepts. As users progress through the program they move to increasingly difficult lessons. The goal is to create a wholistic learning experience that simulates the way first languages are learned.
Tribes and tribal organizations that work with Rosetta Stone to translate, adapt, and customize their edition of the software gain rights to ownership and sales of the product. Funding is made possible in part through corporate sponsorships.
Inupiaq joins Navajo, Mohawk, Inuttitut, and Chitimacha in Rosetta Stone’s library of American Indian languages. For more information on the Inupiaq program, see this website. For more information on Rosetta Stone’s Endangered Language Program see their website.