As long-time followers of my newspaper essays have known, I am passionate about the Yoruba language and have written about the pathetic state it has reached. Yoruba as a disappearing language has been a topic I wrote about quite a few times, essays that have stressed what experts have harped on for a long time: that when a people lose their language or parts of it, they lose the most important part of their culture. Yoruba as “a disappearing language” has been essay topics a number of times and I’ve posted one here today.
This app has been developed by one who should know the importance, though still very surprising that she did: born in the States, had first six years of her life in Nigeria, then back to the States where she grew up in a Yoruba-speaking home, high school in Nigeria where she took Yoruba up to High School Certificate and then back to the States for College but now lives in Europe.
I think she brings to this project first, her love of the language PLUS the precision that an Engineering education to a doctorate level also enables her to do. I assisted – NOT as a part owner (!) – a bit, the same way I’ve been called upon by two graduate students in Nigeria to assist on their Yoruba research projects. Each time I get these mails, I feel a bit scared that some younger people are ascribing to me knowledge that I do not have simply from reading my newspaper columns because the highest level of formal Yoruba studies I had was to the GCE (Ordinary Level) in which I made an ordinary pass in January 1965!
In terms of summary content, there are a few points about this app:
-The app includes an animated flash cards for one word of each letter of the Yoruba alphabet, along with English and Yoruba pronunciations.
-The app provides a gentle introduction to Yoruba, suitable for adults and kids (as well as non-Africans/Nigerians)
-Users interact with the alphabet through the iPhone/iPad touch interface
-The app will launch with a lite version for the iPhone/iPod Touch and a full version the iPad, which includes additional memory puzzles and translation games
-Both versions will be available in the Apple app store in the US, UK and Nigeria (official launch date to be confirmed)
-The app was designed, published and produced by AJA.LA LTD.
It’s reassuring and heartening that quite a few young people are working on ensuring that Yoruba in Diaspora can raise their kids the way Ibos and Hausas, especially, raise their kids with their language widely spoken in their homes. This app naturally turns to modern tools.
Visit the speakyorubaapp.com website today for a more than sneak preview.
- There should be something in this for me, eventually: Aja-La Ltd. will make the Ipetumodu Project of this Blog a priority on its Giving List!
- The developer of the apps, an Engineering PhD from Cambridge, is blogger’s daughter.
TOLA ADENLE, Akure, February 9, 2012.