Google Hopes to Preserve Louisiana Creole Language

NEW ORLEANS – Google – the multinational tech company with headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. –  is hoping to help preserve Louisiana Creole and other critically endangered languages with its new online tool Woolaroo, an open-source software experiment that was created in collaboration with language organizations from five continents.

Woolaroo users will be able to take a photo of a common object and receive a translated label of the object in a chosen endangered language, as well as listen to the correct pronunciation. Woolaroo can recognize common objects such as cups, plants, glasses, bicycles, etc. 

If the word translation hasn’t yet been provided, then users can provide the information through the app. The feedback will then be reviewed and approved by language partners.

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Google hopes Woolaroo will help language communities preserve and expand their language word lists and add audio recordings to help with pronunciation.

“People can respond immediately to newly remembered words and phrases and add them directly,” said a Google rep in a press release. “If your grandparents or people in your community speak any of these languages – even if just a few words –  you can help to expand the growing coverage of Woolaroo.”

Today, Woolaroo supports 10 languages, including Louisiana Creole, Calabrian Greek, Māori, Nawat, Tamazight, Sicilian, Yang Zhuang, Rapa Nui, Yiddish and Yugambeh. In Louisiana, Google partnered with the team behind Ti Liv Kreyol, a book about Louisiana Creole.

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