100 African Language Locales
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100 African Language Locales 100 African Language Locales Presentation Transcript

  • 100 African Language Locales An initiative of ANLoc: The African Network for Localization http://africanlocalization.net
  • 100 African Language Locales
    • Locales: The basic information sets needed to prepare computers for a language
    • Why Locales are important for African languages
    • The ANLoc 100 Locales Initiative
    • Making it happen: How to build and submit an African language Locale
  • Locales: The basic information sets needed to configure computers for a language
    • What character sets to use
    • How dates and numbers appear
    • What direction text is written
    • Days of the week, months of the year
    • Currency symbols, measurement systems
    • Other background information that computers need for a language
  • Locales: The basic information sets needed to configure computers for a language
    • Locales can also contain country-specific information
      • En-US (US English) has some differences from En-GB (British English), for example date and number formats
      • Hausa in Nigeria has some differences from Hausa in Ghana, for example the default currency is different
    • The 100 Locales Initiative will focus on language issues first, with country-specific variations in a later phase
  • Why Locales are important for African languages
    • A Locale makes it easy to write and share documents in a language
      • With a Yoruba Locale, a computer knows how to let you type ẹ or ọ
    • A Locale identifies the source language
      • With a Ga Locale, Google can search only for documents written in Ga
    • A Locale makes it possible to develop software, keyboards, websites, mobile phones, automatic bank machines, etc, for a language
  • Why Locales are important for African languages
    • Without a Locale, a language is excluded from access to Information Technology (IT)
    • A Locale opens up the entire universe of IT resources for a language – once a Locale exists, we can start creating software, websites, etc.
    • Most speakers of African languages do not have the advanced education necessary to access IT in languages such as English or French
    • Teaching a computer how to process a “new” language is much easier than teaching hundreds of millions of people how to speak the languages that computers happen to already know
  • Why Locales are important for African languages
    • Fact : 20 years ago, most computers only spoke American English
    • Fact : Today, Locales exist for virtually every European language, even tiny ones like Welsh and Lithuanian
    • Fact : We can create 100 Locales for African languages THIS YEAR
    • Fact : 5 years from now, people throughout Africa could be using IT in their own languages as routinely as people do today in places like Sweden, Russia, and China
      • Mobile phones, rural internet cafes, classroom computers, handheld computers, cameras, GPS…
  • The ANLoc 100 Locales Initiative
    • ANLoc: The African Network for Localisation ( http://africanlocalization.net )
    • ANLoc is working on several fronts to promote development of IT for African languages: locales, fonts, keyboards, terminology, localization, tools, policy
  • The ANLoc 100 Locales Initiative
    • ANLoc identified about 170 languages in Africa that are spoken by more than ~500,000 people
    • Languages grouped in 8 zones (~20 languages per zone)
    • Goal is Locales for 100 languages from among these 170
    Estimates of numbers of speakers are derived from Ethnologue and other sources. All figures are approximations.
  • The ANLoc 100 Locales Initiative
    • West Africa
    • Nigeria + Chad
    • Central Africa
    • East Africa
      • Tanzania + Indian Ocean
      • Kenya + Great Lakes
    • Horn of Africa
    • Southern Africa
    • North and South Africa
  • West Africa Group
  • Nigeria Group
  • Central Africa Group
  • East Africa Group A
  • East Africa Group B
  • Horn of Africa Group
  • Southern Africa Group
  • North and South Groups
    • Language Locales mostly completed for South Africa & Arabic
    • Some data should be added to existing locales (e.g., country and language names)
    • Country-specific Locales needed for trans-national languages
  • Making it happen: How to build and submit an African language Locale
    • Option A: Complete the AfriGen printout and submit to the appropriate regional coordinator
    • Option B: Use the AfriGen electronic spreadsheet and submit to the appropriate regional coordinator ( preferred )
    • ANLoc will process the Locales for inclusion in all future releases of the major Locale data repositories (CLDR, OOo, and GNU)
      • Companies using locale data from CLDR: Adobe, Apple (Mac OS X), abas Software, Ascential Software, Avaya, BEA, BluePhoenix Solutions, BMC Software (Remedy), Business Objects, caris, CERN, ClearCommerce, Cognos, Debian Linux, D programming language, Gentoo Linux, GNU Classpath, HP, Hyperion, IBM, Inktomi, Innodata Isogen, Isogon, Informatica, Intel, Interlogics, IONA, IXOS, Macromedia, Mathworks, Language Analysis Systems, Lawson Software, Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping LLC, Mandrake Linux, Novell (SuSE), Optio Software, PayPal, Progress Software, Python, QNX, Quark, Rogue Wave, SAP, Siebel, SIL, SPSS, Software AG, Sun Microsystems (Solaris, Java), Sybase, Teradata (NCR), Trados, Trend Micro, Virage, webMethods, WMS Gaming, Xerox and Yahoo!
  • Making it happen: How to build and submit an African language Locale
    • Identify the language and country
    • Complete all the data about which you are certain
      • Do NOT guess – “if in doubt, leave it out”
      • Research the missing information and fill it in later
    • Missing data will default to an official language for the country (e.g., Swahili, French, English, Portuguese, Arabic)
    • When you finish a language Locale for one country, you can then copy that data as a starting point for Locales for the same language in other countries
      • Usually only a few changes will be necessary for country-specific Locales for the same language, such as currency symbols
    • Submit the completed Locale(s) to your regional coordinator
  • AfriGen Data Forms: A
    • First, specify the language and country for your Locale
    • English in the UK is always shown as an example
    • Later, you can complete Locales for additional countries that speak the same language
  • AfriGen Data Forms: B
    • Separators are the tiny things like commas, dashes, and semi-colons that go between number and date information
  • AfriGen Data Forms: C
    • Quotation is the mark used for the first level of quotation: “ He said to buy milk and bread. ”
    • Double Quotation is the mark used for a quotation inside another quotation: “Andrew told me, ‘ Buy milk and bread, ’ but I forgot,” said Julie.
  • AfriGen Data Forms: D & E
    • Days of the week and months of the year for the Gregorian (Western/ European) calendar
    • 2 or 3 letter abbreviations – if there is no standard for your language, propose a system
  • AfriGen Data Forms: F
    • If Question 4 does not make sense to you, leave it blank.
    • The other questions in this section are necessary even if your country uses a different calendar, in order for international communication.
  • AfriGen Data Forms: G
    • Question 1 is asking for all the letters in your alphabet, and the order in which they appear
      • If a range of letters appears in the same order as the English alphabet, just show the first and last letters from the sequence, separated by a dash
    • To see the Unicode scripts in Question 4, view the PDF files listed at the back of the AfriGen form, or ask your Regional Coordinator
  • AfriGen Data Forms: H
    • If you do not know your bank code, leave it blank (it will revert to your default language)
    • Some currencies do not have symbols (for example, the Swiss Franc)
    • For questions 5 and 6, select the options that are used by banks and accountants in your country
  • AfriGen Data Forms: I & J
    • A few words have special uses in many computer programs. Please provide the equivalents in your language.
    • Choose the option that shows how calendar dates are displayed in your country.
  • AfriGen Data Forms: K
    • Your country probably uses the Metric System (degrees Celsius, meters, liters, kilograms, etc).
    • A4 is the paper size that is normally used in Europe. Letter is the paper size that is normally used in the US. This information is important for printers to work the right way in your country.
  • AfriGen Data Forms: L
    • Your language probably does not have names for every currency in the world.
    • If you don’t know a currency name, leave it blank.
    • Your language probably has words for widely-used names like dollar, franc, and pound – so you can generally apply those names to any country using the same term (e.g., Egyptian pound and UK pound )
  • AfriGen Data Forms: M
    • Your language probably does not have names for every country in the world.
    • If you do not know a country name, leave it blank.
    • For example, do not translate “Ivory Coast” as Coast of Horn, unless that is really correct for your language. (Somebody made this mistake for Swahili, and it is hard to fix later!)
  • AfriGen Data Forms: N
    • Your language probably does not have names for every other language in the world.
    • If you don’t know a language name, leave it blank.
    • If your language has rules for generating language names (such as special prefixes used in Bantu languages), be careful with spelling and emphasis
  • Unicode Scripts
    • To find charts showing the characters listed in each Unicode script, visit the addresses shown above.
  • Recap: 100 African Language Locales
    • Locales: The basic information sets needed to prepare computers for a language
    • Locales are important to enable IT for African languages
    • The ANLoc 100 Locales Initiative is building Locales with volunteers from all regions of Africa
    • Make it happen: Use AfriGen to help build and submit African language Locales!
  • 100 African Language Locales An initiative of ANLoc: The African Network for Localisation Contact: locales@africanlocalization.net