Learn Chamorro app takes Guam's native tongue into the digital a - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Learn Chamorro app takes Guam's native tongue into the digital age

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There's a real go-local movement that's popped up on Guam, and now it's found its way into the tech scene. First there were classes in public high schools, then there was the Hurao Academy. Some people even take private lessons in the subject. Now if you're looking to learn Guam's native language, you can do it on your mobile device.

"Apps was the obvious direction to go," said Troy Aguon, who really has something special available on the iOS App Store and Google Play. If you haven't already downloaded his Learn Chamorro app, consider doing it because you want to add to how much you can think in the Chamorro language. Learn Chamorro is a gaming app where Chamorro vocabulary and pictures are matched together in a race against the clock.

"It's word-picture-audio association," explained Aguon. "There's no English in it, so it forces you to know and to learn with the pictures and the word. There's also audio involved with it, where you can touch it and learn how to pronounce the word."

Aguon noticed that with a resurgence in interest in Chamorro culture - from the immergence of new cultural dance groups and reemergence of indigenous crafts - there was room to take the Chamorro language into areas it had not been before. So, with his interest being technology, he utilized his skills to create learn Chamorro, which might just be the first gaming app to teach Chamorro. His efforts were enough to catch the attention of major on island sponsors like DOCOMO Pacific.

Public relations and corporate communications coordinator Marissa Borja told KUAM News, "Knowing Troy as a champion for the Chamorro language and the culture, one of the categories in terms of sponsorship investments is culture and education so he's just fused it beautifully for us and the fact that he packaged in an app is just perfect aligned for DOCOMO Pacific as a telecommunications company."

It's a great match, thanks to Aguon's know-how, DOCOMO's marketing, and the support of GPO, Matson, 76/Circle K, and the GFS Group. "In the first three weeks we had over 3,000 downloads and everyone seems to love it, they're excited about it. They actually want more and more and more and more!"

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