Tag Archive for Firth McEachern

Petition for Ilokano Google

UPDATE from Progress Report on Language Policy, Rights, and Multilingual Services (La Union, Philippines April 2013 by Firth McEachern)


An organization called Nakem Conferences­—dedicated to the research, education, and dissemination of Northern Philippine languages—has created an online petition requesting Google to include Ilokano in their products and services. By adding Ilokano as one of the options in Google Search, users would be able to search the web using Ilokano, instead of just in English or Filipino/Tagalog.

The petition reads:

Dear Google:

We are the Ilokano people, in the Philippines and in the diaspora.

Estimates put the number of speakers of our language at about 11 million in the Philippines alone, or more than 10 percent of the population of that country.

Historically, Ilokano (also known by its other names as Iluco, Iloco, Ilocano) is the language of the Philippine diaspora.

There are millions of peoples of the Philippines and outside the Philippines that use Ilokano as their second, or heritage language.

In Hawaii alone, the Ilokano and Ilokano-descended people comprise between 85 and 90 percent of the Philippine-American population, of that state.

With the return of Ilokano as a language in the MTB-MLE (Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education) policy of the Philippine government, it is now necessary to give access to Ilokano students to the wealth of information Google has. In the state of Hawaii, Ilokano is taught in the university and in some select public high schools as that state's effort to perpetuate the heritage of the Ilokano immigrant community.

It is for this reason that we would like to request that you include Ilokano as a language of option at Google. Your giving us this public space will recognize the voice of millions of our people.

Thank you so much. Agyamankami unay.


To sign the petition, visit:



From a report prepared by Firth M. McEachern Consultant, Office of the Governor Province of La Union | firth.mce@gmail.com

Cebuano Language Added to Google & Kapampangan Becomes Part of Wikimedia


UPDATE from Progress Report on Language Policy, Rights, and Multilingual Services (La Union, Philippines May 2013 by Firth McEachern)


Cebuano, the second most spoken language in the Philippines – boasting around 25 million speakers – is now supported by internet giant Google, Inc.

 It was announced on May 8, 2013 that Cebuano is now an available language in Google Translate and on Google Search. If one goes to the Philippine portal at www.google.com.ph, one can see “Cebuano” added next to Filipino as one of the language options. It means that you can search the web using Cebuano as a medium to navigate the web pages.


Meanwhile, if you encounter Cebuano text that you don’t understand, or if you want to translate something into Cebuano, you can access Google Translate via the web at https://translate.google.com, on your Android or iOS device, or via Chrome and in Gmail.

The addition of Cebuano was announced simultaneous to four other languages: Bosnian, Javanese, Hmong, and Marathi. Google sa Translate misuporta na karon sa kapin sa 70 ka mga! (Google Translate now supports over 70 languages!)

With the exception of Bosnian, the new languages are “alpha versions,” meaning that they continue to be tested and improved over time.

“Google Translate helps bridge the divide between the content available online and people’s ability to access that information,” said Sveta Kelman, Google Translate Program Manager last May 10.
“Familiarizing ourselves with other languages broadens our comprehension for information. It adds more meaning and sincerity in a conversation, too. Cebuano is an important language to us and we hope to have helped ease the language barrier with Google Translate,” added Gail Tan, Google Philippines Communications Manager.

Kapampangan group gets involved in Wikimedia

Wikimedia has confirmed recognition of The Dila Kapampangan chapter as Dila ning Kapampangan Wikimedia Community. As a recognized community in Wikimedia, it is eliglible for grant funding from Wikimedia Foundation for qualified projects. Dila ning Kapampangan Wikimedia Community is henceforth the official representative of the interests of the Kapampangan language in Wikimedia and its components like Wikipedia. Dila Kapampangan also hopes to engage Google on creating Kapampangan Google Search & Google Translate interfaces. [Adapted from email on DILA listserve, May 30 2013.]


From a report prepared by Firth M. McEachern | Consultant, Office of the Governor | Province of La Union | firth.mce@gmail.com