Gmail now has support for Cherokee language, adds virtual keyboard as well

Cherokee has become the first Native American language fully integrated into Gmail. The Cherokee Nation worked with Gmail to make this announcement a reality.

"We are constantly trying to find ways to ensure our Cherokee language lives on and thrives, and being able to converse via email is a vital part of that," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

"In the 1800s, we were the first tribe to develop a written language and newspaper. Two hundred years later, we continue to be a leader by becoming the first tribal language to be integrated on the iPhone and now Gmail. Partnering with the largest technology companies in the world to translate our native language onto modern devices is another useful tool that helps our Cherokees keep the language alive."

One of the challenges of fully integrating Cherokee into Gmail was translating more modern words that did not exist when the Cherokee Syllabary was transcribed.

"When Google decides to support a language, it's not just about which ones have the largest number of speakers. In order to do business around the world, we need to support languages with millions of speakers, such as Japanese, French or Arabic," said Craig Cornelius, a Google software engineer.

"But we also want to include less spoken languages in order to help preserve the culture and diversity that come with them."

Cornelius said several Native American tribes have expressed interest in translating their languages with Google, but the Cherokee Nation has been the most intentional in getting the translations done.

Cherokee is now Gmail's 57th supported language.

In 2002, a Cherokee Nation survey found no one under 40 spoke conversational Cherokee. A Cherokee language immersion school followed, requiring all the learning materials of an English-speaking school, including technological tools.(Source)

Responses to "Gmail Now Supports Cherokee, Its First Native American Tribal Language"

  1. Fred+ says:

    This is outstanding! Waay cool!

  2. Muddy Dog says:


  3. LLCURRAN says:

    Wonderful. Congratulations on the results of all the hard work. So glad the Cherokee Nation has actively done all they can to preserve their language and make it available and bringing it into the 21st century.

  4. I want to learn Cherokee!! Where can I get the immersion materials?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ummm....Cherokee are the people. Tsalagi is the language. Editor needs to pay some attention! :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    All languages need to be preserved.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ardmholadh tuillte . comhghairdeas!!!

  8. Unknown says:

    thank you, thank you, Google.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ummm Imbulldozer Tsalagi means Cherokee, should really be certain what your saying before posting..

  10. Anonymous says:

    congrats! would be nice to see our tribes put in this type of efforts in preserving our heritage n languages!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    thank you Google and thank you Tribe for all of your hard work and efforts to preserve the language of the people

  12. As an ESL professor, I deeply respect the need to preserve native languages and have never believed learning English implied losing the mother tongue. This venture between Google and the Cherokee Nation is awesome, and I am optimistic that the Cherokee language WILL be fully revived. Kudos to both sides of this deal!

  13. Anonymous says:

    wa-do wa-do tsa-la-gi

  14. pehopp says:

    I am really interested in learning the Cherokee (Tsalagi) language. Where can I get info on doing so?

  15. Unknown says:

    Great !

  16. Anonymous says:

    For those wanting to learn the Cherokee language: go to

    They offer free online lessons.

    It is great to know that our Cherokee Nation has gotten with Google to do this and preserve our native language.
    Angel Parent-Perez

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