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PM Launches iVolavosa App

PM Launches iVolavosa App
From left:Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Permanent Secretary for Education Iowane Tiko and Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua during the launch of the IVOLAVOSA App at the Itaukei Affairs complex,Nasese on December 19, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.
December 20
11:33 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the iVolavosa App at the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs building in Draiba yesterday.

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.

At the launch he said, “today marks a milestone for the preservation of the iTaukei culture as we witness the launch of the iVolavosa App, putting the iTaukei dictionary at the fingertips of every mobile phone user.”

He said the FijiFirst Government was committed to strengthening Fiji as a multiracial society and they strived to pay homage to the cultures and backgrounds that made Fiji a truly inclusive and welcome society, where they could call themselves Fijians.

In the vein of inclusivity it was important to note that the iVolavosa App would not only benefit iTaukei language speakers.

“It will allow fellow Fijians who speak other languages to better understand the complexities of the iTaukei language, thereby fostering relationships among all Fijians and encouraging social inclusivity,” the PM said

The App he said was a testament of his government’s commitment to technological advancement and its mission of bridging the `digital divide’ by providing all Fijians with the necessary tools to succeed in a dynamic 21st century economy.

Mr Bainimarama said the iVolavosa App would assist in the education of the children from pre-school leading up to tertiary studies. “The iVolavosa App will enable the proper teaching of the iTaukei language and culture and the maintenance of the iTaukei mode of expression.”

The iVolavosa App will also make it easy for those who would like to learn the itaukei language, including visitors to our shores and our overseas diaspora, making the itaukei language known to other parts of the world.

Producing the App has been the collaboration between the iTaukei Trust Fund Board and the iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.

A project team consisting of Elina Rakuita, Anaseini Rauca, Ulaiasi Motonikumi, Sereseini Taivoce, Sikeli Cakaubalavu, Mikaele Sela and Senior Language and Culture Specialist Dr. Apolonia Tamata worked on the project for about two years.

Mrs Tamata said the 24,000 words in the App were from the Fijian Monolingual dictionary and new words could be added in future.

The iTaukei Trust Fund Board chief executive officer (CEO) Isoa Kaloumaira said the App cost them $135,365.54.

They had used, Bruce Birch, a linguist at the Australian National University (ANU) to help prepare the App.

Mr Birch was involved in the launch of the Ma! Iwaidja App in Australia in 2012.

The Ma! Iwaidja App is an initiative of the Minjilang Endangered Languages Publication project.

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.

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

Edited by Percy Kean


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