African Languages in a Digital Age: Challenges and by By (author) Donald W. Osborn

By By (author) Donald W. Osborn

Offering functional ways to discovering a spot for African languages within the details revolution, this evaluation lays the root for extra successfully bridging the "digital divide" by means of discovering new strategies to previous difficulties. performed via the PanAfrican Localization undertaking less than the sponsorship of Canada’s overseas improvement learn heart, this survey explores hindrances that abate higher use of African languages in software program and web content material, assesses attainable suggestions and maps for his or her achieve, and identifies destiny traits within the box. one of the key matters mentioned are the significance of localization within the African context; limitations to extra common use of African languages in net computing device know-how; and by means of whom, for which languages, and within which international locations efforts are being made. primary to the dialogue is the creation of the concept that of "localization ecology" to account for the most important elements, facilitate dialogue in their interplay, and contact recognition to how making plans and enforcing localization can and may examine those issues.

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Extra info for African Languages in a Digital Age: Challenges and Opportunities for Indigenous Language Computing

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Who localises? za The question of who benefits, or potentially might benefit, from localisation has already been raised in discussing why localisation is important. It is also useful to briefly consider who does localisation and would thus most immediately benefit from increased attention to localisation in Africa in terms of information, networking and tools. The question has as many dimensions as there are types of localisation, yet a simple answer might be that anyone that is motivated to connect African languages with the content and interactive language of ICT, that has the knowledge and means to do so, and that actually initiates or participates in some aspect of localisation is a localiser.

47 An extensive discussion of the rationale for L1 and bilingual (or multilingual) education is beyond the scope of this paper, but it is generally agreed that this is beneficial for schoolchildren. However, implementation is not simple. This set of issues gives rise to considerable debate within countries, but implementation involves problems with issues such as teacher training and the availability of materials. The ways in which educational language policy might affect localisation is a separate issue.

Za decision by the Moroccan government to use Tifinagh in teaching the Tamazight (Berber) language in schools highlighted the need for capability to use the script freely in computing and the internet, which was hindered by reliance on legacy encodings. In effect, an education policy decision revived the effort to encode Tifinagh, and these two factors along with others may lead to localised content and software in the Tamazight language, which in turn will have other outcomes. Other examples similarly illustrate the interaction of factors.

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