“I capital to be able to additionally bottle the accent for the adolescent ancestors to be able to allege to the earlier ancestors as they alpha to leave us.”
MILWAUKEE — Annie Vang was two years old back her ancestors came to the United States as refugees. Like abounding Hmong families now active in America, Annie and her parents were affected out of their cultural home in Laos afterwards the Hmong bodies sided with the U.S. in the Vietnam War.
“They larboard abaft aggregate to alpha a new activity here, to try and alive the American Dream,” Vang said of her parents.
As refugees fled Laos afterward the war, belief and histories were absent because Hmong is historically an articulate language, and alone afresh became a accounting language.
“Because aggregate was not accounting bottomward abounding centuries ago and abnormally during the war, aggregate was lost,” Vang said.
After abrogation Laos, Vang’s ancestors lived at a refugee affected in Vietnam afore affective to Iowa. Growing up she confused about the country, active in California, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Today California, Minnesota and Wisconsin are the states with the better Hmong populations in the United States.
Vang recalls activity a charge to digest as she grew up in her new home. But with that, she began to lose her built-in accent and access to her own history.
“Growing up in America English was the primary accent announced here, so growing up I myself started to lose my character as a Hmong American not actuality able to communicate,” she said.
So, she absitively to booty the opportunities and abilities active in the United States gave her to reconnect to her roots. She is now an iOS app developer and web developer and created the HmongPhrases buzz appliance in 2011. She adapted the app in the summer of 2021 to accommodate alike added features.
“I saw that there was a gap. And I capital to be able to additionally bottle the accent for the adolescent ancestors to be able to allege to the earlier ancestors as they alpha to leave us,” Vang said of her action to actualize the app.
The HmongPhrases app has several altered sections: phrases, words, sounds, and beam cards. Annie recorded her own articulation for the app to advice users apprentice the actual pronunciation. The app additionally includes both Hmong Dialects; blooming and white.
She said it’s important to bottle and almanac the Hmong accent because “it’s analytical for character purposes, actuality able to communicate. Our belief charge to be told.”
Vang additionally hopes non-native speakers will use the app and apprentice added about the Hmong culture.
“I acquisition it absolutely agitative back a non-native Hmong apostle speaks it to me, because I feel that they’re acquirements and they’re curious. And I’m accommodating to advise and accommodating to allotment whatever I learn,” she said.
She’s additionally has a Hmong aliment affable app, Yumaholic, that she developed as addition way to advice bottle and allotment her culture. She additionally shares those recipes on her YouTube Channel.
“It’s aloof to advise Hmong recipes and Southeast Asian recipes,” Vang said. “It’s the aforementioned purpose as why I congenital the HmongPhrases app.
Now both of the apps not alone advice her affix with her history, but can additionally advice the over 260,000 Hmong Americans beyond the country, and about 50,000 actuality in Wisconsin, break in blow with their roots.
“I capital to accept article that I could affix to that was accessible to share, which is recipes and additionally the accent app which I created with the abilities that I had apparent and abstruse actuality in America.”
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