Africa’s software industry and local languages: a gateway to the information and knowledge society

This discussion belongs to Translation news » "Africa’s software industry and local languages: a gateway to the information and knowledge society".
You can see the translation news page and participate in this discussion from there.


Alexander C. Thomson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:12
Dutch to English
+ ...
Worthy and laudable — but not a full-orbed approach? Jan 29, 2013

It is a wonderful and praiseworthy initiative to foster the online presence of African languages, for sure. We all love the riches of our native languages and are thrilled to enjoy an online community in which to reinforce our culture. But is it realistic to aspire to a future Africa (or any other continent) in which ‘foreign’ languages (i.e., languages of global importance) are no longer dominant in commerce, innovation and technology? Asian and Latin American countries, even those with the profoundest poverty and/or the friendliest government attitudes to their own national minority languages, have not taken such an approach but have rather redoubled their efforts to have the population comfortable with manipulating online content, and knowledge more generally, in major world languages. Estonia, Georgia, Bolivia, Mongolia, India, the Republic of Korea, or Malaysia would be good role models here for how nations can massively boost their citizens' online presence (largely in English when it comes to commerce and technology) without losing any of their skill or pride in their own languages.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 22:12
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
A little more complicated Jan 30, 2013

I'm an African person, but don't speak any African languages because my parents chose not to teach me any - primarily because they struggled so hard to learn English that they felt we would have better opportunities in life if we just learnt it right of the bat. Obviously theirs also improved by speaking to us in English all the time!
However, I think this is more about not neglecting market that is left behind simply because they are not as familiar with the language. English is widely spoken in some countries, but accessibility and lack of access to education means that there are pockets (usually outside urban areas) of countries that are predominantly non-English speaking. The advent of mobile technology means that these populations still may have access to the internet, but are not catered for in terms of content. Having online presence in English is great when appealing to a global audience, but sometimes you want to appeal to a more localised audience, and I believe this is the drive here - after all, a site can be multilingual, but the languages chosen should reflect the target audiences that they are intended for.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexander C. Thomson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:12
Dutch to English
+ ...
I see, Sarai Jan 30, 2013

Thanks — youʼve explained it rather more clearly than the original GALA press release did!

Alex


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Africa’s software industry and local languages: a gateway to the information and knowledge society

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search