Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Launches Ute Language Digital Dictionary
The Ute Language Digital Dictionary is the latest resource for Ute Language speakers and learners. Time is critical for this Indigenous community as they fight to invigorate the next generation of learners. It is estimated that there are just over 110 Ute Mountain Ute speakers today. The Ute Mountain Ute Digital Dictionary will be freely available to learners on the web or to download the app on iOS and Android devices. The launch event will pay tribute to the people involved in the process of creating this new language learning resource and all the knowledge they contributed. Attendees of the launch event will receive an interactive tutorial demonstrating how the learning software works.
Building the dictionary was a process involving twenty-one Ute Mountain Ute speakers, a team of linguists, and several Rapid Word Collections (RWCs). RWC is a contemporary method of compiling linguistic databases. The initial RWC was held in 2019, and speakers and linguists collected around 3,000 words for the dictionary. The second virtual RWC in January and February 2021 collected an additional 4,000 words. The Ute Mountain Ute Digital Dictionary will continue to be updated over time as additional words are collected and verified.
The release of the web and mobile dictionary comes just ahead of what the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has called the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which begins in January 2022. UNESCO’s recognition of the language rights of Indigenous peoples and the concerted efforts of Elders, such as those of the Ute Mountain Ute, will hopefully create a powerful momentum for the language revitalization movement.
The Ute Tribe of the Ute Mountain are the Weeminuche Band of the Ute Nation. Ute Mountain Ute Reservation is a sovereign nation located in what is currently known as the Four Corners region of United States. It is home to around 2,000 people.
Language preservation (TLC) is a non-profit organization that supports and advocates for the revitalization of Indigenous languages by developing programs, materials and technologies in close partnership with Indigenous communities.
SOURCE The Language Conservancy