Language-Learning Provider Helps Promote Native American Language Use among Younger Generations
Arlington, VA (August 24, 2010) – Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST), a leading provider of technology-based language learning solutions, announced today the release of the Navajo- language version of Rosetta Stone® software for use by Navajo in language revitalization. Though Navajo is the most-spoken Native American language north of Mexico (still spoken by more than 100,000 people), its use and fluency among younger generations is in dramatic decline. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 50 percent of Navajo ages 17 and under were able to speak their native language at all in 2000. Rosetta Stone Navajo software will be available for use in Navajo Nation schools, homes and chapter houses in an effort to help reverse this decline.
“We’re excited that the Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program can play a role in encouraging younger generations to use the Navajo language,” said Marion Bittinger, manager of the Endangered Language Program. “We’re optimistic our work with indigenous groups will be a step toward reversing the tide of global language extinction.”
The Navajo software will be sold through Navajo Language Renaissance, a nonprofit group of Navajo educators from the tri-state area of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. In December 2007, with the endorsements of the Department of Diné Education and the Navajo Board of Education, the project was launched in Window Rock, Arizona. More than one hundred Navajo contributed to the project by providing language expertise, photos, audio recordings and logistical and cultural support. Development of Rosetta Stone Navajo was made possible through a Rosetta Stone company grant, and all proceeds from the sale of the software will go toward future initiatives to revitalize the Navajo language.
“The Rosetta Stone software will greatly help our Heritage Language Program already in place in our school district. Students will have a great opportunity to learn the Navajo language at their own pace,” said Clayton Long, director of bilingual education for San Juan School District in Utah. “Rosetta Stone Navajo will be a medium to bridge generations and revitalize the Navajo language.”
Rosetta Stone invites prospective learners to visit http://launch.rosettastone.com/en/demo/rs3?language_code=NAV for a free online trial of the Navajo-language software. You can also access the trial from our twitter (http://twitter.com/rosettastone) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/RosettaStone) pages.
Learning with Rosetta Stone is a natural choice for language-revitalization programs because its award-winning solutions help users develop language proficiency without translation, memorization or conjugation tables. The Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program has developed software for several indigenous languages, including Chitimacha for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana. The North Slope dialect of Iñupiaq in Alaska is currently under development with Rosetta Stone.
For more information please visit pr.RosettaStone.com.
About Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program
The Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program works with native groups to customize Rosetta Stone software for exclusive use in language revitalization. Each revitalization project builds on the company’s mission to help people improve their lives and make the world a better place by delivering the best technology-based solutions for learning languages. A natural choice for language-revitalization programs, Rosetta Stone helps learners develop everyday proficiency the same natural way people everywhere learn their first languages, by directly associating new words and structures with real-life meaning. This approach allows Rosetta Stone to customize the context of meaning for endangered languages. Languages selected for software preservation – including Mohawk (Kanien’kéha); the North Slope, Coastal and Kobuk/Selawik dialects of Iñupiaq in Alaska; Inuttitut in Labrador, Canada; Chitimacha in Louisiana and Navajo of the American Southwest –are produced by Rosetta Stone and are distributed exclusively by the sponsoring group.
About Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone Inc. is changing the way the world learns languages. Rosetta Stone provides interactive solutions that are acclaimed for their speed and their power to unlock the natural language-learning ability in everyone. Available in more than 30 languages, Rosetta Stone language-learning solutions are used by schools, organizations and millions of individuals in over 150 countries throughout the world. The company was founded in 1992 on the core beliefs that learning a language should be natural and instinctive and that interactive technology can replicate and activate the immersion method powerfully for learners of any age. The company is based in Arlington, Va. For more information, visit RosettaStone.com.
“Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd.