African arts, culture + politics

Search and enjoy

(ARISE magazine, issue 13) What do you do when you need to look up something in Afrikaans, Swahili or Malagasy? Google Soek, Tafua na Google or Fikarohana Google, of course. After high demand from Africa, the search giant is recruiting volunteers to its Google In Your Language project to translate its interface. Said program manager for African languages, Denis Gikunda, “For so many people in Africa, with technology, there’s this idea that I have to master English first, and then I can be good at it. But if you see a user interface in Swahili, you feel like you understand the product more.” Somalia is the latest beneficiary of the Google Africa community translation program after receiving its Google domain name on June 3. The standard interface was translated by volunteers and then verified by a group of native speakers, language specialists and journalists in Nairobi – where Somali is also spoken. Other 2011 additions include Ghanaian dialects Ewe and Ga, Northern Sotho from South Africa and Seselwa Kreol from Seychelles.


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