Vodafone Revives Obscure Mexican Language with 'Social Dictionary' Project

Customers Encouraged To Adopt a Word in Ayapaneco as Brand Compiles Dictionary

Published On
May 20, 2014

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Vodafone Germany is attempting to revive a dying Mexican language with a project called a "social dictionary" in which customers are encouraged to adopt a word. The project, by Jung von Matt/Alster, focuses on the ancient native dialect Ayapaneco, which only has two speakers left alive -- Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velasquez. However, in a twist, the pair fought and stopped talking to each other decades ago. Vodafone brought in an expert, Stanford University linguistic anthropologist Professor James A. Fox, to persuade the two to reconcile in the hope of saving the language, and to enlist their help in compiling a dictionary for the language. It also sponsored a language school in the people of Ayapa village in Tabasco, Mexico. The social element is that it has now set up a website at Ayapaneco.com where customers adopt a word each and can learn to speak the language via tutorials.

The Ayapaneco project is part of a program by the company called Vodafone Firsts in which it encourages people to do things for the first time.


May 20, 2014
Jung von Matt/Alster
Vodafone Germany
Vodafone Germany

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