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New app helps you learn Miami Tribal language

Myaamia app 2.jpg
Tana Weingartner

Miami University enjoys a unique relationship with the Miami Tribe from which the school derives its name. 

Miami University is expanding its commitment to preserving Miami tribal culture. The Myaamia Project (pronounced: me-AHM-me-uh) is now a full center.

Director Daryl Baldwin says becoming a center further enhances the project's language and culture preservation goals.

"I think the big thing that the Center will offer is a more formal connection to the University on the academic side," he says. "It will also allow us to organize ourselves internally to respond to more growth. So it means a greater degree of support from both the Tribe and the University so we can expand the effort".

Myaamia app 1.jpg
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
The "niiki" app works on Apple devices and is being developed for Androids. You can turn your home into a giant set of flash cards using QR codes and the app's reader.

The Myaamia Center is also releasing a smartphone app designed to help people learn and speak the Miami language.

Andrew Strack explains how the app teaches common words and phrases.

"The app is broken down into several categories like living room, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, etc.," he says. "And another feature we like about it is that you can scan QR codes and the printable QR codes are formatted to print on sticky labels so you can put them up around your home, scan them, and test your language knowledge."


The app is only available for iPhone and iPad right now. Computer science majors are currently developing it for Android. They're also creating games to make learning more interesting for younger users.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.