A NEW high-tech way to translate Wigan dialect into the Queen’s English has become an international success.
The free iPhone App called iWiganese has only been available for a week but has already enjoyed nearly 10,000 downloads from more than 20 countries!
The App allows a user to play a selection of common phrases in Wiganese such as Izmiatonreet? (Is my hat on right?) and Astbrowtitwithi? (Have you brought it with you?) and then provides folk with an Anglo-Saxon version that the rest of the country should understand.
As well as the US and Europe, the App is proving popular in many other countries including Japan, Malaysia, Kenya and even Ethiopia.
It has received nearly universal five star reviews from users.
The success has led to the expansion of the iWiganese.com website which also has the clips available to play or download. The site itself has had more than 8,000 visitors who spend an average of more than ONE HOUR on the site.
The solution was created by Manchester-based IT company Athernet Web Solutions after it took on digital marketing manager Martin Bradley and some struggled to decipher his broad Wigan brogue.
The 37-year-old from Standish said: “There aren’t many people of my age who have a strong Wigan accent but I take after my dad Jeff who speaks as broad as they come.
“And there is a lad in our office from Horwich called Mike with whom I speak in Wigan dialect and the rest of staff haven’t had a clue what we were talking about.
“So it was suggested that I did something about breaking down the lost-in-translation barrier and I came up with the app.
“It’s a bit of fun, a gimmick even really, but it could prove handy too.
“I like the way state-of-the-art technology is also helping to preserve something old and traditional like an accent or dialect.
“It’s a work in progress at the moment. We have got about 100 terms which could build on and maybe get some pictures in too. We are also keen for feedback.”
Athernet Web Solutions MD Daniel Atherton said: “We had real problems understanding what Martin was saying.
“It came to a head when he came out with ‘Swantabrew?’
“We thought he was swearing but he was actually asking if anyone wanted a cup of tea.
“Now Martin can select from a list of common phrases on his iPhone and play them in proper English.
“But the rest of the staff at Athernet can also translate English phrases into Wiganese to make Martin feel right at home!”
The app’s logo cheekily apes the Apple icon, substituting a partially-eaten pie as George Formby looks on approvingly.
Download the free app – iWiganese – from iTunes. See also http://www.iwiganese.com