April 14, 2021
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Apps Developed to Maintain Chin Dialects

05 November 2012: Chin communities and individuals have made attempts to protect and improve their dialects by developing new mobile and online application software.

The Chinland Development Co., Ltd (CDC), based in Rangoon, Burma late last month launched a new app of an English-Chin-Myanmar dictionary for handheld devices such as iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

“Finally, the dictionary is now available online for purchase at the price of 10 US dollar. It is easily downloadable and user-friendly,” said Shwe Hein, CEO and President of CDC.

The new dictionary consists of 30,000 English words with meanings in Hakha-Chin dialect and Burmese.

Chin customers from different countries welcomed the new app, saying it would not only help them in their studies and works but also provide ways of maintaining their Chin dialect.

The Chin owner said his company is working hard on developing new software which can be used on different devices including laptops and Android phones.

Another new software program called ‘Zolaisinna’ meaning learning the Zomi or Chin language, according to the Myanmar Times, was launched in Rangoon last month.

Software developer Tg Chin Suan Kap, 24, was quoted as saying that he was motivated to develop the application to protect their literature from disappearing.

“This is a chance to learn the Chin language without a teacher. Parents don’t have time to teach their children their own language … This is one way I can help in the development of my people,” said Tg Chin Suan Kap, originally from Tonzang Township of Chin State.

New generations of the Chin diaspora have striven to maintain their dialects through teachings at church schools and religious publications outside of Burma.

In recent years, a number of new applications and websites have emerged with a collection of bibles, hymns and dictionaries in a variety of versions in different Chin dialects.

Last year, a Chin refugee based in Malaysia launched new apps of bible and hymn in Hakha Chin for Java-enabled mobile phones such as iPhone and Android.

Burma’s successive military regimes imposed various restrictive measures on learning and studying ethnic languages at schools in the country, putting them in danger of disappearing over the past two decades.

“Our different dialects have been under threat for so many years. But now that we have new facilities, we have an opportunity to maintain and improve our dialects from whichever countries we live,” said one of the Chin community leaders in Europe.


Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang
[email protected]

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