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EDITORIAL: iVolavosa App Brings iTaukei Language To The 21st Century

EDITORIAL: iVolavosa App  Brings iTaukei Language To The 21st Century
December 20
15:55 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday launched the iVolavosa App.

This is truly a milestone for the preservation of the iTaukei language and culture.

It is in fact putting the iTaukei dictionary at the finger tips of every mobile phone user.

The App contains 24,000 word entries and these include audio files of the pronunciation of each word plus image files of fish, plants and animals.

As a dictionary App, the iVolavosa can be downloaded from Play Store for smartphones using android and therefore accessible to all speakers and learners of iTaukei Fijian.

Information in the iVolavosa would include for every word the part of speech, usage, dialect information, the different sense meaning, illustration sentence, synonyms, antonyms, words related by their meanings, other words that can be cross referenced, figure of speech, scientific name and the etymology or the source language of words.

We must thank the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, iTaukei Trust Fund Board and the iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture for the work they had done.

It took about two years for the team involved to produce the App.

Consultancy for the project was undertaken by Bruce Birch, a linguist affiliated with the Australian National University (ANU).

Mr Birch’s app creation team included Justin Liang, who is the programmer and Sunday Birch the graphic designer.

The iTaukei language according to Mr Bainimarama has a long and rich history and now with its translation into a mobile application with the iVolavosa App, we would see that enhanced  even further, bringing  the iTaukei language into the 21st century.

The iVolavosa App will assist in the education of our children from pre-school leading up to tertiary studies.

Launching of the App is in line with Government’s pursuit in looking for new ways to adapt and transform itself to the modern economy with new systems and processes.

“The iVolavosa App is certainly a big step in that direction of Fiji as a whole.”

The dictionary content of the iVolavosa App is sourced from the Fijian monolingual dictionary which was published by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs in 2005.

The iVolavosa App is financed by the iTaukei Trust Fund Board.

As a digital application, there is the potential to add more information and illustrations that will add to the descriptions and meanings of all words in the dictionary.

Words that are not included yet in the dictionary will also be added.

Apolonia Tamata, Senior Language and Culture Specialist at the iTaukei Trust Fund Board said: “The iVolavosa App, like dictionaries, is a reference tool for word meaning and related uses.

“Fortunately for all users, apart from the purely linguistic information, the iVolavosa also contains some scientific information, historical and sociolinguistic information where applicable.”

Let’s heed the Prime Minister’s advice – “I urge everyone to continue learning, preserving and spreading the iTaukei language.”


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