Thursday, 19 February 2009

Predictive Texting in Jamaican Creole?

Have you ever used the predictive text (PT) feature of your mobile phone? Well if you didn't know, it is likely that your mobile can do predictive texting i.e. in the process of texting a message, your mobile can guess the words you are trying to enter into your text message and give you the option of selecting those words. The result: you make fewer keystrokes. To read more about PT visit, go ya so ...

The opportunity to make fewer keystrokes has also got health benefits! Not a few "mango seasons" ago, I watched Wellness Watch, a health presentation, on one of our local TV stations; the health issue featured was a hand illness (can't remember the name) which results from constant use of the hands – typing, sewing, grabbing, text messaging, etc.

I've just read an article in the Wall Street Journal which highlights the interesting fact that PT has economic as well as linguage benefits.

Naturally, this blog isn't as concerned with the economic advantages of PT as it is its language benefits - preservation and promotion! In fact, the title of the article suggests the author is also more interested in the linguistic side of things - "How the Lowly Text Message May Save Languages That Could Otherwise Fade."

Re: language preservation here's a quote, "Michael Cahill, linguistics coordinator for SIL International, says, "There are cases where texting is helping to preserve languages" by encouraging young people to write in their native tongue."

Re: language promotion here's a quote, ""It facilitates the Irish language as a communications tool for every day -- not just in the classroom."

I could not help but think that PT could also help to preserve and promote Jamaican Creole! In fact, I think it would be a very good means of promoting the Cassidy/LePage orthography, the spelling convention being used by the Jamaican Creole translation team.

To read the WSJ article, go ya so....

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