Cutting-edge technology meets ancient culture
The Ho-Chunk Nation’s Hoocąk Waaziija Haci Language Division has worked with Thornton Media to release a dynamic next-generation Ho-Chunk language app for the iTunes Store. iPhone and Android versions are soon to follow. The app is the first release for Thornton Media’s new Language Pal 2.0 software, the latest version of their popular language-learning software apps. “The 500-entry Ho-Chunk app is part of a vigorous Ho-Chunk language revival program.” said Don Thornton, President of Thornton Media. “The app has record / playback capabilities, reading, writing and speaking quizzes, and three levels of games. It is highly personalized to the Ho-Chunk community”
“The Ho-Chunk staff worked incredibly hard to make this a success,” said Thornton. “They submitted their materials to us before we arrived at their location so we were able to get a lot done in a short time. They made their knowledgeable staff available to us, even over the Thanksgiving Holiday.” Ho-Chunk Nation is offering the first version of the Ho-Chunk language app free in the iTunes Store.
The program is headed by Richard Mann, respected tribal elder and fluent speaker. “Richard said to us “If people come onto Ho-Chunk land, they should learn to speak Ho-Chunk” said Thornton. “Richard told us he had to learn to speak English, so what’s fair is fair.”
The Ho-Chunk Nation will also be releasing an iPhone / iPod Touch version of Ho-Chunk Basic. An Android version will be released in May. In addition, an iPad storybook app “The Two Wolves” will be available soon in both English and Ho-Chunk. The Ho-Chunk language program learned about Thornton Media when they attended one of their popular Las Vegas workshops in 2011.
Thornton Media has also created an on-line web portal for clients to upload their own materials. “This will save clients the cost to fly us out to their reservation or reserve” said Thornton. “We will be introducing our Online Portal to Indian Country at the Wisconsin Indian Education Association Conference on April 20th. It’s been a busy time for us and we have a lot of new information to present.”
Thornton Media has been the industry leader in language learning technologies. “Our Cherokee Basic was the first indigenous language learning app in the iTunes Store in 2009. We will release a 2.0 version in Cherokee next month”, said Thornton. “Our clients will be releasing about a dozen apps in the coming months. Tribes and First Nations want to reach their citizens, young and old, so the languages can live on.”
The app is free and can be found by searching “Ho Chunk” in the iTunes store.
Thornton Media Inc. (www.ndnlanguage.com) is a Cherokee-owned company based in Las Vegas NV. In 1995, Thornton Media became the first company in the world to offer customized hi-tech tools to revitalize Native languages. Since then they have worked with more than 130 tribes and First Nation clients in the US and Canada.