Google adds Cherokee to searchable languages

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (AP) April 2011

The Internet can now be searched using the Cherokee language.

Google announced that it’s added the Cherokee written language, called Cherokee Syllabary, to its list of searchable languages. The company also created an on-screen keyboard with the Cherokee language so content can be searched without a specialized keyboard.

The company worked with volunteer translators from the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah to translate Google’s interface into the language.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said in a news release that Google’s efforts will increase the language’s use among young people.

The 85-character syllabary has slowly died out since its creation in the early 1800s. Only about 8,000 of the tribe’s 290,000 members can speak the language.