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 British Isles (the UK and Ireland), and Australia and New Zealand. A fifth version of the vocabulary, called International English, is for countries such as South Africa, Singapore, India, and the UAE.
You will choose your preferred regional vocabulary the first time you open Proloquo.
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!
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.
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!