Voices from Eurasia
Shared Words: a peacebuilding game in Cyprus
20 May 2013 by Nuri Sılay and Spyros Armostis
10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3 Yes we are indeed counting down to launch the Shared Words language learning game. Well, not just yet but we are almost there!
Shared Words project has been an interesting project and a starting point that has the potential to affect, motivate, and contribute to rapprochement between the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus.
Shared Words project is not only about language learning through the use of common words between languages. It is the outcome of a peace-building philosophy that looks for common ground between different cultures, nations, or backgrounds.
The desired objective is not only to help build communication with each other, but also to hopefully touch the hearts of people to relieve them from the grieves and hatred of the past, and from the doubt and fear of the future.
“If you talk to a man in a language that he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his own language, this goes to his heart.”
The approach of Shared Words project provides us the opportunity to use the common words between our first language and the language in which we want to communicate, even if we have never learned that other language.
The image below presents a prototype of the Shared Words game. We are happy to see that our cooperation and effective communication with our game developer, the Interaction Lab of the Cyprus Technological University, resulted in really attractive design and functionalities that will allow good interaction with the players.
We also cooperated with the recently launched MYCY radio, the only multilingual web radio of Cyprus, which will broadcast the common words of the Shared Words project with an interesting format: every week, the etymological story of a shared word will be presented in English, Greek,and Turkish.
We are also working with Youth Power to use all of the communication channels. We aim to reach the public by publishing a Shared Words booklet and distributing it to educational institutions and to other community stakeholders.