Appended below are several items of posible interest. The first four are recent news stories concerning or mentioning the importance of African languages in development. The linguistic aspects of the "digital divide" in multilingual societies such as those in Africa merit increased attention, esp. by foreign-sponsored ICT for education and development projects.
Aside from fundamental concerns of optimizing communication (what better languages to deliver basic health info or promote discussion of agricultural innovation than people's first languages?) and basic social justice (choice of language can include and/or exclude), another possible framework for considering issues of linguistic diversity in ICT might be that of "ethnocomputing." The fifth item below is an academic article introducing this concept (although much of the thinking behind it would not be unfamiliar to readers of this list). Don Osborn, Ph.D. [EMAIL PROTECTED] *Bisharat! A language, technology & development initiative *Bisharat! Initiative langues - technologie - développement http://www.bisharat.net 1) "Language Barrier in Info Society" Daily Champion (Lagos) [Posted to the web July 29, 2004] By Remmy Nweke http://allafrica.com/stories/200407290494.html This article from Nigeria discusses the significance of African language use with ICTs as well as some other aspects of African multilingualism. 2) "Technology: Rural Africa Yearning for Internet, Connectivity" IPPMedia [2004-07-24 13:37:21 ] By Joyce Mulama, IPS, Nairobi http://www.ippmedia.com/ipp/guardian/2004/07/24/16670.html Don’t be put off by the title. It’s a nice summary of a recent APC conference in Nairobi. Note the comments on Uganda's approach with Luganda. 3) "Minority Languages Face Extinction" The Herald (Harare) [Posted to the web May 17, 2004] By Sifelani Tsiko http://allafrica.com/stories/200405170590.html One hears a lot about loss of languages worldwide - here is a view from Zimbabwe. 4) "South African languages boosted" News24.com] [31/03/2004 08:49 (SA)] Edited by Tisha Steyn http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,6119,2-7-1442_1505745,00.html Discusses recent strategies to implement S.A.'s National Language Policy Framework. 5) "Ethnocomputing: A Multicultural View on Computer Science" Paper presented at IEEE Conference ICALT 2002, Kazan, Russia, September 9.-12.2002. Matti Tedre, Piet Kommers, Erkki Sutinen at http://www.cs.joensuu.fi/~ethno/articles/ethnocomputing_ICALT2002.pdf [Tedre also has an M.S. thesis on the subject at http://www.cs.joensuu.fi/~ethno/articles/tedre_matti_ethnocomputing.pdf] _______________________________________________ DIGITALDIVIDE mailing list [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://mailman.edc.org/mailman/listinfo/digitaldivide To unsubscribe, send a message to [EMAIL PROTECTED] with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.