Professor Margaret Noori of Michigan University has created an online community that is capturing, what would otherwise be, a dying language. It’s an innovative way of preserving a language so that ancient sounds are not lost and can be instantly connected with others willing to hear and learn.
The language is that of Ojibwe, Michigan’s indigenous population. As the population who knows this language is continually ageing, it is essential to ‘produce proficiency in the next generation and archive the contributions of fluent elders’. As a result it is the responsibility of the younger generations to learn from older generations. This is why social media is being implemented.
Social media is being used as a linguistic preservation tool, a platform that is very familiar to the young age group. The community is currently using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube that will encourage sharing and interaction. So far there are around 450 audio files, songs, lessons and stories to facilitate learning.
This is an example of a new revelation for social media, being used to preserve an endangered language.