On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:37 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:

> I cannot cite anything, but there should be studies that show that even
> though most people are "bilingual" or reported as "bilingual" in their
> regional language and another major language, they are more comfortable in
> getting education in their regional language.


I've not followed the referenced studies, but from about page 27
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED540509.pdf ("Why and How Africa Should
Invest in African Languages and Multilingual Education: An Evidence- and
Practice-Based Policy Advocacy Brief") claims this.

This and maybe others are citations in Shaver, Lea, Copyright and
Inequality (February 18, 2014). Washington University Law Review,
Forthcoming; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research
Paper No. 2014-3. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2398373 a large part of which is
a case study of "book famine" in "neglected languages" of South Africa. I
found the paper compelling, so much so that I read it aloud for those who
prefer listening
https://archive.org/details/LeaShaverCopyrightAndInequality(the paper
is CC-BY) and blogged about it at
http://gondwanaland.com/mlog/2014/02/27/shaver-copyright-inequality/

The paper struck me as a validation of Wikimedia's language efforts so far,
and an indication that these are undervalued -- I mean from a perspective
recognizing their welfare contribution, not necessarily in terms of
Wikimedia resources, of which I'm largely ignorant -- but despite my
ignorance, maybe such valuation ought to encourage even more audacious
language work, in the Wikimedia movement or nearby. I made some pedestrian
suggestions in the blog post above, but let me highlight one that is pure
fantasy born of my ignorance:

Could recognition of the value of neglected languages provide an impetus
for a new and large effort toward free software machine translation? Little
progress has been made thus far, perhaps in part because some proprietary
services such as Google Translate are gratis, and work for most
non-neglected languages. Could redoubled effort to support neglected
languages in Wikimedia projects (Wikisource translations might be
especially relevant) and free/open source software projects help provide
needed parallel corpora?

 I'm pretty sure that there
> are such cases, and they should be given priority. Projects that are
> focused on language revitalization per se should be given less priority
> when resources are limited, even though it breaks my heart to say this.


Makes sense to me.

Mike
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