You Can Now (Politely) Slide Into Someone's DMs in Baybayin
by Inside Manila Team, September 01, 2019 6:00pm
Art by Allen Mirambel
Imagine a world wherein language is not a barrier. Where you can get to send your message across and be understood by anyone—regardless of nationality—without having to go through years of foreign language education. It could be a step to achieve world-peace perhaps.
If you thought technology couldn't get any better in keeping us connected with the world, it now lets us understand the world better too. Sure, translation apps are there to help us piece out foreign phrases, but Google's Gboard is here to make multilingual conversations less of struggle.
In case you don't have the app yet or if you're not using a smartphone (hey, old school tech rules!), Gboard is an app that enhances your smartphone keyboard to make multilingual typing easier.
And thanks to Google Philippine's commitment to helping preserve the country's local and scripts through relevant technology, it is now easier to discover and use our ethnic writing systems.
Before the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards, Filipinos have established their own writing system–the Baybayin. The early Filipinos used Baybayin not just to record; they wrote letters, poems, prayers, and incantations.
As Filipinos learned the Latin alphabet, the use of Baybayin began to die out. Google Philippines is on the mission to keep our indigenous languages alive. Learning and practicing Baybayin can lead to discoveries about yourself as a Filipino and the local culture. So today where typing on our smartphones is a common behavior, having native scripts on our messaging apps will play a vital role in preserving the lost art of Baybayin and many other indigenous scripts.
Gboard supports 23 languages and scripts of the Philippines. Beyond Tagalog, the following languages are now available: Central Bikol, Koronadal Blaan, Rinconada Biko, Chavacano, Cebuano, Capiznon, Cuyonon, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Itawit, Kankanaey, Kinaray-A, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Kapampangan, Tausug, and Waray.
More indigenous scripts of the Philippines such as Buhid, Hanunuo, and Tagbanwa are now available on Gboard for Android.