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African languages in a digital age: Challenges and Opportunities for Indigenous Language Computing

With increasing numbers of computers and penetration of the Internet around the world, localization of the technology and the content it carries into the many languages people speak is becoming an ever more important area for discussion and action. Localization, simply put, includes translation and cultural adaptation of user interfaces and software applications, as well as creation and translation of internet content in diverse languages. It is essential in making information and communication technology more accessible to the populations of the poorer countries, increasing its relevance to their lives, needs, and aspirations, and ultimately in bridging the “digital divide.”

Localization is a new and growing field of inquiry. This book identifies issues, concerns, priorities, and lines of research and is intended as a baseline study in defining localization in the African context and how it is important for development and education in the long term.

THE AUTHOR

Don Osborn is the Founder of the Bisharat Language, Technology & Development Initiative. He is a former Associate Director for Agriculture, Peace Corps, Niger, and led the PanAfrican Localisation project from 2005 to 2008.

Source: International Development Resource Centre (IDRC)

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