Lickity Split Says Cheese

The Rosetta Stone software produced by our Endangered Language Program possesses a unique goal. It attempts to portray the people, culture and geography of an endangered language in a way that excites young learners to study their ancestral tongue through novel technology and the accurate representation of their lives and culture.

miss navajodsc3428When we began thinking of images to use in the Rosetta Stone Navajo software, there were some obvious choices — the Navajo Nation tribal offices, Window Rock and the reigning Miss Navajo. These were highly recognizable, but we also wanted to feature ordinary people engaging in every-day activities. And if we could spotlight ordinary people doing something extraordinary, even better!

We spent two whirlwind weeks shooting almost 500 custom photos that will be included in the Rosetta Stone Navajo software, with a one-day stop in Blanding, Utah. Blanding may not be a town populated by high profile celebrities, but the Lickity Split Chocolate Studio and its exceptional proprietors were just the kind of celebrities we were looking for.

The Lickity Split Chocolate Studio began as the pet project of VISTA volunteer Elaine Borgen when she came face to face with the cycle of poverty in the region. Her dream was to help kids gain the necessary skills and assets to run a successful business. With an inspirational synergy fueled by the creativity of budding minds, it soon grew into a full-fledged enterprise with over 30 Native owners, all under the age of 16. Granted, chocolate may not be all that hard to sell, but an energetic 10 year-old marketing manager doesn’t hurt! When we visited the shop in June 2009, production was in full swing and in the hands of three capable young girls with no adults in sight. The signature creations of the shop, like the Navajo wedding basket lollipop and Kokopelli-shaped figures, all use themes from Native traditions.


Some of my favorite shots at the shop are of a young owner, standing at the door and bidding her customer “Hágoónee’.” Her face shows all the self-assurance of a successful entrepreneur and the pride of a job well done — and I can think of no better representation of Native youth and their potential.

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  • Rick Roberts

    I would like to thank you for having such a wonderful support system. We were having trouble with our Rosetta and had to contact your tech support. We were blessed to be helped by James Muia. He was more than helpful. We are now living in Morocco and it was a longer process for him to help us because of this. He was very patient, answered all of our questions, and best of all fixed the problem. Thank you again for hiring such an exceptional employee.
    I could not find anywhere else on your website to send a thank you, that is why I sent it here. We are trying to learn the french language and hopefully on to arabic after that.

    • rvoiceadmin

      Hi, Rick. Thank you! We appreciate your feedback and we’ve passed it along. In the future, you can log a ticket through our support site and leave feedback about your customer experience here: Best of luck with your French studies and we hope to help you learn Arabic soon.

  • CM

    I’m so glad that your endangered language program uses custom images. It really is an important part of the pride in the language, to have pride in one’s people.

  • Exercise Balls

    Great, I never knew this, thanks.

  • Matt

    It makes me smile to see that you guys do so much more than just sell products to make money.

    Good work. Please keep it up. : )

  • The Blogs Rocket

    Very nice article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up posting.

  • Amanda

    I wish you would add Burmese to your list of languages. I

  • BJ

    Has there been any consideration in developing Rosetta Stone for Cherokee?

    • rvoiceadmin

      Hi, BJ. Our Endangered Language Program projects are sponsored by individual groups who translate, adapt and customize their edition of the software in conjunction with Rosetta Stone experts to make it culturally and linguistically relevant to their community. Sponsors retain ownership of the language materials and distribution rights. To read more about our program, visit:

  • dental hygienist

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  • school grants

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

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