Regional Translation - Africa
From Ott09 Wiki
Numbers in these notes need review!
Where have people been? Tunesia, Egypt (is that Africa), ZA, Senegal
Issues people expect in Africa?
- Infrastructure, cell vs internet
- Wikipedia not yet going, af, Swahili second, though only 2-3
- value of localization, prioritize with real life economics
- traditional view of Africa is changing, cables are going in, though still very poorly connected
- cell phone localization, cell phone penetration is high. Rural area in ZA, interviewed 1000, 2 computers, 2% fixed line, 78% cell phone
- localizing cell phones empowers the new uses
- lots of phones, but still expensive in terms of air time and text messages
- outsourcing via cell phones via free airtime (USSD)
- fonts and encodings, can you write the language in the first place
- in West Africa in particular, fonts are rare
- no complex text really, though, but some RTL issues
- some code points in unicode for some characters in Unicode
- politics of localization, there is interest, status of multilingual people. People are interested and value localization, but don't actually do it
- localization "fragmenting" countries as it emphasizes regional languages
- unfair devide between translators in Africa and l10n company in Europe
- if it's not a word document, it's magic for localizers and they're already the most tech-savvy folks out there
- UI space considerations, 1.5 longer in EU languages, but African languages much longer still. Need bigger cell phones :-)
- Why no African wikipedias?
- Afrikaans community well connected
- Swahili mostly by people not in Africa?
- Skills in Africa exported out of Africa
- Culture of diaspora, academics just live everywhere in the world and just occasionally visit their origin country
- Africa-wide project by translate.org.za
- Where does language sit?
- Language policies, ICT policies
- Who do you take to "localization should be part of government policy"
- Minimal interoperable .... . How do the 26 departments interoperate? How to specify the requirements technically?
- ANLOG, among others specify which characters are needed for African languages
- Downloadable fonts on the web help, 10 fonts available, might help wikipedia
- Unicode needs fonts to take code points
- Most african scripts are latin-based
- Motivation can be surprising
- target audience can be small
- pride in language
- catalyze by starting localization with software that people use and see, like Firefox
- access to localization tools? Online webtool time vs download time for offline tools
- How much localization can you buy, for how much?
- Not enough work out there to make a living
- Significantly higher cost, even though cost of living is much lower
- Yearly salary? 12-15k euros a year for about 1000 word a day, 20k words a month, Firefox almost over a month
- Not really a responsibility of software projects, but possibly of local governments
- Government funding exists in other regions
- UNESCO playing any role?
- Mobile devices get non-text UI due to small screen estate, is that going to be differently localized?
- Cultural issues like "wizard" not having a positive connotation in all cultures
- Netbooks might a different format