Your AAC app, adapted to where you are

  • 3 minute read

Wherever you are in the English-speaking world, Proloquo likely has the words you need. AssistiveWare is a global company, and we designed Proloquo to be relevant to you.

(Updated February 14, 2024)

It’s dinner time, and you don’t want to cook. Will you order takeout or takeaway? Do you want chips or fries, shrimp or prawns? What you choose to say often reveals where you live.

Proloquo reflects the variations between the major English-speaking regions of the world: the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Australia and New Zealand. A sixth version of the vocabulary, called International English, is for countries such as South Africa, Singapore, India, and the UAE.

Your AAC app adapted to where you are Screenshot 1
AssistiveWare Proloquo will prompt you to choose your preferred English vocabulary during setup

You will choose your preferred regional vocabulary the first time you open Proloquo. Note that if you make an error you can later change the Region in Settings.

A cookie or a biscuit

Every version of Proloquo has buttons for the most common and essential words in the English language. Many more words are available as text-only Related Words. Most of these words mean the same thing all over the world. We relied on various data sources to select these words.

But we also recognize that English is diverse.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of different spelling, such as color vs colour, or center vs centre. Proloquo’s Crescendo Evolution™ vocabulary offers the appropriate spellings for each region.

Some regions have different terms for the same thing, like cookie vs biscuit. You might prepare food on a counter in North America, a bench in Australia, and a worktop in the UK. Proloquo reflects this difference as well

Sometimes, we use the same word but in different ways. Squash is a drink and a vegetable in England but only a vegetable in Canada.

Building an AAC vocabulary

How did we do this? First, we consulted research-based word lists to identify regional differences in spelling and meaning. Next, we reviewed anonymous data from thousands of Proloquo2Go and Proloquo4Text users. This data confirmed patterns, such as how often Americans say awesome while Brits say brilliant.

Next, we recruited families in Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the US. They reviewed the symbols and words to ensure they all meant the same thing. We learned that families in every region talk about football, but the sport could be soccer, gridiron, rugby, Australian footy, or Gaelic football!

Localized English vocabulary blog - footballs around the world
The symbols associated with the word football in the regional vocabularies of AssistiveWare Proloquo

Some words were more common even within the same country, such as soda vs pop in the US. When we couldn’t identify the most common word, we looked for the one that would cause the least confusion. Soft drink was the most general and the most universally understood, so that is what you will see in your Drinks folder. However, if in your part of the country pop is the most common term, you can set the label to pop and then soft drink becomes the Related Word.

Sometimes, we opted for general words in other topics, too. For example, there were often too many political parties to include them all in Proloquo. Instead of naming all of them, we have words like conservative, liberal, green, labor, populist, and national. We leave it to you to add the words for the parties you want to talk about.

Some words are only important in one region. Republican and Democrat are only included in the US. The 50 American states are listed in the US vocabulary, while the counties of England and Ireland are only included for the British Isles. The Nile and the Amazon are globally important rivers, but the Thames, the St. Lawrence, and the Murray are only included in their regions.

Proloquo is a good foundation for a complete vocabulary. Still, language is something personal to each of us. You will find lots of room to add the words for the things that mean the most to you. If you think of popular words we missed for your region, we encourage you to let us know!


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