Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Project Marayum: Creating a Community Built Mobile Phone-Based, Online Web-Dictionary for Endangered Philippine Languages

Authors: Samantha Jade Sadural, Kathleen Gay Figueroa, Noel Nicanor Sison II, Francis Miguel Quilab, Samuel Edric Solis, Kiel Gonzales, Alain Andrew Boquiren, Janelle Tan, Mario Carreon

Abstract:

Of the 185 languages in the Philippines, 28 are endangered, 11 are dying off, and 4 are extinct. Language documentation, as a prerequisite to language education, can be one of the ways languages can be preserved. Project Marayum is envisioned to be a collaboratively built, mobile phone-based, online dictionary platform for Philippine languages. Although there are many online language dictionaries available on the Internet, Project Marayum aims to give a sense of ownership to the language community's dictionary as it is built and maintained by the community for the community. From a seed dictionary, members of a language community can suggest changes, add new entries, and provide language examples. Going beyond word definitions, the platform can be used to gather sample sentences and even audio samples of word usage. These changes are reviewed by language experts of the community, sourced from the local state universities or local government units. Approved changes are then added to the dictionary and can be viewed instantly through the Marayum website. A companion mobile phone application allows users to browse the dictionary in remote areas where Internet connectivity is nonexistent. The dictionary will automatically be updated once the user regains Internet access. Project Marayum is still a work in progress. At the time of this abstract's writing, the Project has just entered its second year. Prototypes are currently being tested with the Asi language of Romblon island as its initial language testbed. In October 2020, Project Marayum will have both a webpage and mobile application with Asi, Ilocano, and Cebuano language dictionaries available for use online or for download. In addition, the Marayum platform would be then easily expandable for use of the more endangered language communities. Project Marayum is funded by the Philippines Department of Science and Technology.

Keywords: Software Engineering, content management system, collaborative language dictionary, community-centered lexicography

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