Presented by:
             Martin Benjamin (martin@kamusi.org)
  Director of ANLoc Locales and Terminology Subprojects


 ...
Achievements and Lessons Learned by
 the African Network for Localization
   Languages and information technology in
Afric...
Languages and information technology
in Africa: the challenges for localization
National University of Rwanda
                      July 2008




                                     Rwanda, July 2008

...
African language facts:
• As many as 2000 languages spoken in Africa by
  1,000,000,000 people
• Over 200 languages are sp...
Enter ANLoc

  Adapting ICT so that it can
be used by:
• Non-specialists                 IT+46 training workshop,
        ...
Addressing the challenges: ANLoc and
           its subprojects
    Enabling L10n           Software Freedom Day,
        ...
Enabling L10n
Locales            These are things that
Fonts              must exist for a language
                   bef...
Locales
     The basic information sets needed to
configure computers for a language

     •What character sets to use

  ...
Fonts
      Many African languages have
letters that do not exist in the
standard European character set
     ANLoc is cre...
Keyboards
      Mapping the characters
of a language’s alphabet to
the keys on a qwerty or
azerty keyboard
     Completely...
Activating L10n
Terminologies         These are the building
Translation tools     blocks to ensure the
                  ...
Activating L10n
Terminologies         These are the building
Translation tools     blocks to ensure the
                  ...
Terminologies
     2500 IT terms selected from
more than 1100 translation files
for Free and Open Source
Software
    Defi...
Translation
              Tools
    Provide good tools to a wide range of
users, including:

      • Less skilled people

...
Translation
              Tools
    Provide good tools to a wide range of
users, including:

      • Less skilled people

...
Spellcheckers
    Create tools to simplify technical
development

      • CorpusCatcher – collects texts from the
      we...
Localizing
     Software
     Starting with Firefox, a key
software application that is free,
open source, extremely usefu...
Training
                                 Arabize training
     Localizers                  workshop, Cairo, July
        ...
Sustaining L10n
   Language and ICT
 policy
 (taken individually and together)

    Network development

These are the fou...
Language and
  ICT Policy
    Review current state of
language policy around Africa
       Review where language
fits into...
Network
 Development
      Website with capacity
for contributions by all
network members:
http://africanlocalization.net
...
Lessons learned: two case studies

Locales                            Terminologies

    Time and effort required to      ...
Lessons learned: Locales
Time and effort required to
recruit participants
through networks
     Ambitious goal of 100 lang...
Broadcasting through existing
Lessons learned: Locales      networks (mailing lists, newsgroups)
Time and effort required ...
Lessons learned: Locales
Volunteer model for data
contributions

    Amount of work is only 2 to 3 hours per language
    ...
Lessons learned: Locales      Google    IBM       Wikimedia Foundation
Upstreaming data: finding a
thirst for project outp...
Lessons learned: Terminologies
Time and effort required for
software development

Software must be:
    Simple to use
    ...
Lessons learned: Terminologies
Payment model for significant
data contributions


     Project takes about 2 months of
pro...
Lessons learned: Terminologies
Technology obstacles for African
partners


    Power outages
    Connectivity problems
   ...
Lessons learned: Terminologies
Managing the scope: finding a
hunger for joining in


     Project provides a
consistent, c...
The long view: the outlook for IT in
     African languages and African societies
                  going forward
        ...
Presented by:
             Martin Benjamin (martin@kamusi.org)
  Director of ANLoc Locales and Terminology Subprojects

  ...
Achievement And Lessons Learned By An Loc
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Achievement And Lessons Learned By An Loc

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  • Great stuff. Some of the best demo on FOSS sustainability and innovation in Africa
    http://webserv.ias.unu.edu/fel/sites/default/files/Call%20for%20Book%20Chapters-FOSS_Sdev.pdf
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  • This is the visual component of a presentation delivered to http://www.idrc.ca in May 2009. The online version is missing the audio explanations, unfortunately. The presentation looks best when viewed in FULL SCREEN mode (click 'full' on the lower right side of the slideshow)
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  • 4 languages of Rwanda: English, French, Swahili, Kinyarwanda
  • Story about getting a business card made in Kigali. Software in English and French, conversation in Kinyarwanda and a bit of Swahili, cards took about an hour to design because the designer couldn’t read all the menus. National University of Rwanda has a haphazard collection of computers that use English or French, depending on who donated or purchased the equipment.
  • Achievement And Lessons Learned By An Loc

    1. 1. Presented by: Martin Benjamin (martin@kamusi.org) Director of ANLoc Locales and Terminology Subprojects Funded by IDRC, Acacia, project number 104475 Managed in IDRC regional office for Middle East and North Africa, Cairo
    2. 2. Achievements and Lessons Learned by the African Network for Localization Languages and information technology in Africa: the challenges for localization Addressing the challenges: ANLoc and its subprojects Lessons learned: two case studies The long view: the outlook for IT in African languages and African societies going forward
    3. 3. Languages and information technology in Africa: the challenges for localization
    4. 4. National University of Rwanda July 2008 Rwanda, July 2008 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 2008
    5. 5. African language facts: • As many as 2000 languages spoken in Africa by 1,000,000,000 people • Over 200 languages are spoken by more than 500,000 people each • At least 15 languages are spoken by more than 10,000,000 people each: Amharic, Arabic, Berber, Chewa, Fula, Hausa, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Malagasy, Oromo, Shona, Somali, Swahili, Yoruba, Zulu • Primary education in Africa is often in local, regional, or national languages • IT in Africa is mostly available in English, French, or Portuguese
    6. 6. Enter ANLoc Adapting ICT so that it can be used by: • Non-specialists IT+46 training workshop, Kampala, November 2006 • Non-elites • Non-speakers of global L10n = languages Localization • Students • Anyone In other words, most of Africa’s 1 billion people
    7. 7. Addressing the challenges: ANLoc and its subprojects Enabling L10n Software Freedom Day, Accra, September 2008 • Locales • Fonts • Keyboards Activating L10n • Terminologies • Translation tools • Spellcheckers • Localizing software • Training localizers Sustaining L10n • Language and ICT policy • Network development
    8. 8. Enabling L10n Locales These are things that Fonts must exist for a language before any software Keyboards localization can occur Translate Firefox event, Kampala, August 2008
    9. 9. Locales The basic information sets needed to configure computers for a language •What character sets to use •How dates and numbers appear •Direction text is written •Names of days, weeks, months •Currency symbols, measurement systems •Other background information that computers need for a language In French: “paramètres régionaux” Makes it easy to write and share documents in a language Makes it possible to develop software, websites, mobile phones, ATMs, etc, for a language
    10. 10. Fonts Many African languages have letters that do not exist in the standard European character set ANLoc is creating Free and Open Source fonts that contain all characters for numerous African languages that have been included in the UNICODE standard Availability of a font with all the necessary characters is elemental for using IT in a language Fonts are integrated with ANLoc Keyboards and Translation Tools Documentation and dissemination need more attention
    11. 11. Keyboards Mapping the characters of a language’s alphabet to the keys on a qwerty or azerty keyboard Completely integrated with the output of the Fonts subproject for each specific language 12 keyboards available in most recent Windows and Mac builds 30 keyboards available for Linux: http://is.gd/CjGi Documentation and dissemination need more attention
    12. 12. Activating L10n Terminologies These are the building Translation tools blocks to ensure the viability of L10n for a Speelcheekers language Localizing Software Training Localizers tzLUG, Dar es Salaam, December 2008
    13. 13. Activating L10n Terminologies These are the building Translation tools blocks to ensure the viability of L10n for a Spellcheckers language Localizing Software Training Localizers tzLUG, Dar es Salaam, December 2008
    14. 14. Terminologies 2500 IT terms selected from more than 1100 translation files for Free and Open Source Software Definitions for each term in English Glossmaster software for rapid glossary development by project partners Producing terms + definitions in 14 African languages Working with Translation Bureau (Public Works and Governments Services Canada) to add a French component Direct export to Virtaal translation tool of the Tools subproject Free online dissemination through PALDO (kamusi.org)
    15. 15. Translation Tools Provide good tools to a wide range of users, including: • Less skilled people • People who cannot translate from English • People with less-frequently provided needs, such as custom fonts, ISO 639-3 codes, complex writing systems, right-to-left writing Help beginners do the right thing and work productively right away Integrate with existing resources such as glossaries and translation memories Main tools being developed • Pootle – translation management, online translation • Virtaal – powerful desktop (offline) translation tool • Translate Toolkit – underlying technology for other tools, with numerous tools for L10n engineering, planning, QA, etc. Products already in use for OpenOffice, Mozilla, Creative Commons, OLPC, Opera, and many others
    16. 16. Translation Tools Provide good tools to a wide range of users, including: • Less skilled people • People who cannot translate from English • People with less-frequently provided needs, such as custom fonts, ISO 639-3 codes, complex writing systems, right-to-left writing Help beginners do the right thing and work productively right away Integrate with existing resources such as glossaries and translation memories Main tools being developed • Pootle – translation management, online translation • Virtaal – powerful desktop (offline) translation tool • Translate Toolkit – underlying technology for other tools, with numerous tools for L10n engineering, planning, QA, etc. Products already in use for OpenOffice, Mozilla, Creative Commons, OLPC, Opera, and many others
    17. 17. Spellcheckers Create tools to simplify technical development • CorpusCatcher – collects texts from the web • Spelt – word classification with a focus on productivity Create three spellcheckers for languages of partners in the network: • Gikuyu – Bantu, East (Kenya), agglutinative morphology • Zulu – Bantu, South (South Africa), agglutinative morphology • Yoruba – non-Bantu, West (Nigeria), rich tonal system Spellcheckers are created for Hunspell for easy integration with office and internet tools (OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, others) Build expertise for more work in this area going forward
    18. 18. Localizing Software Starting with Firefox, a key software application that is free, open source, extremely useful, and widely used Focus on languages for which glossaries are being developed in the Terminology subproject Creating L10n communities with pools of expertise that can continue with more projects For many languages, this is a demonstration that will prove that L10n is viable for the first time
    19. 19. Training Arabize training Localizers workshop, Cairo, July 2008 Create training course modules with the Institute for Localisation Professionals (TILP Ireland) to cover local L10n needs Establish local pools of skilled L10n professionals Open source sprint will create material aimed directly at volunteer localizers Work toward a certification system for L10n professionals
    20. 20. Sustaining L10n Language and ICT policy (taken individually and together) Network development These are the foundations to ensure ongoing pursuit of L10n for speakers of African languages
    21. 21. Language and ICT Policy Review current state of language policy around Africa Review where language fits into ICT policy Provide resources for policy planners to understand language and ICT issues Engage policy planners and decision makers in support for expanded access to ICT through L10n International Mother Language Day Paris, February 2009
    22. 22. Network Development Website with capacity for contributions by all network members: http://africanlocalization.net Active discussion list for partner communication Annual network meetings for major partner organizations Recruitment of new partners through website, subprojects, and outreach
    23. 23. Lessons learned: two case studies Locales Terminologies Time and effort required to Time and effort required for recruit participants through software development networks Payment model for Volunteer model for data significant data contributions contributions Technology obstacles for Upstreaming data: finding a African partners thirst for project outputs Managing the scope: finding a hunger for joining in
    24. 24. Lessons learned: Locales Time and effort required to recruit participants through networks Ambitious goal of 100 languages Need to find people with the necessary combination of computer skills, network access, and language knowledge For languages in the long tail, that means we need to identify and recruit from among about ½ million total speakers Even some languages with more than 10,000,000 speakers have not produced a single volunteer
    25. 25. Broadcasting through existing Lessons learned: Locales networks (mailing lists, newsgroups) Time and effort required to recruit participants Exploring new social networking through networks opportunities (Facebook, Twitter) Using the personal networks of ANLoc members
    26. 26. Lessons learned: Locales Volunteer model for data contributions Amount of work is only 2 to 3 hours per language Small payments to 100 people in 50 countries would be a logistical nightmare (even if we had a budget to cover it) New recruitment campaigns have addressed this question head on: “And to answer the most common question in advance, yes, volunteer means for free - for your language, for your country, but not for money.”
    27. 27. Lessons learned: Locales Google IBM Wikimedia Foundation Upstreaming data: finding a thirst for project outputs CLDR (Common Locale Data Repository)
    28. 28. Lessons learned: Terminologies Time and effort required for software development Software must be: Simple to use Fast Lightweight Deal with numerous linguistic complexities Interlink numerous languages
    29. 29. Lessons learned: Terminologies Payment model for significant data contributions Project takes about 2 months of professional labor per language Payment for each language occurs when all 2500 entries are complete Payment model insures that work gets done and that quality control can be implemented
    30. 30. Lessons learned: Terminologies Technology obstacles for African partners Power outages Connectivity problems Adequate equipment has not been a problem for our partners
    31. 31. Lessons learned: Terminologies Managing the scope: finding a hunger for joining in Project provides a consistent, carefully chosen set of L10n terminology that can be used for any language English glossary with clear definitions is a resource that is not available to localizers elsewhere on the web Project cut from 24 languages to 12 to fit within budget constraints Additional language groups are seeking to join on a volunteer basis
    32. 32. The long view: the outlook for IT in African languages and African societies going forward Use of ANLoc outputs by consumers Continued L10n through people and tools enabled by ANLoc Strong and growing network of African IT and language professionals Increased industry L10n activity Establishing the expectation that IT will be available in African languages: making localization the new normal Isimikinyi, Tanzania Isimikinyi, Tanzania June 2005 July 2008
    33. 33. Presented by: Martin Benjamin (martin@kamusi.org) Director of ANLoc Locales and Terminology Subprojects Funded by IDRC, Acacia, project number 104475 Managed in IDRC regional office for Middle East and North Africa, Cairo
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