Gmail didn't become one of the world's most popular email services with just one language; indeed, it supports 56 languages, ranging from Simplified Chinese to Hebrew. As of today, however, that list has grown to 57. The Cherokee, or "jaw la gee" language, has just been added to Gmail after Google Web Search incorporated it back in March 2011. The Mountain View company is not the first to do this -- Apple did it with the iPhone and iPad back in 2010 -- but email is a relatively new frontier. It apparently started after a Google engineer found himself in a car with a member of the Cherokee Nation and was persuaded by the need to encourage younger Cherokee generations to learn their native tongue.
After some collaboration with Durbin Feeling -- the author of the Cherokee-English Dictionary -- they found Cherokee terms for relatively modern words like "inbox," "sign in" and amusingly, "spam." They also added a Cherokee virtual keyboard (which joins more than 100 other keyboards in the system) so that Cherokee youth can use the language to communicate with each other. As much as we applaud the service, we do lament that even the Cherokee Nation won't be safe from Nigerian prince scams, fake Neiman-Marcus cookie tales and terrible jokes forwarded by their mothers.