I have said it before that the world is indeed turning to be the global village it was envisioned to be. More interesting is that Swahili, the East African spoken language, is gaining global recognition. Non-native speakers are putting more effort to learn the language beyond the ‘Jambo’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’ which are slogans every tourist gets to learn even before they set foot on mother Africa. In support of this move The Oxford University Press launched a free online Kiswahili Dictionary.
This move is part of Oxford Global Languages (OGL) initiative aimed at building dictionaries and lexicographical resources for around 100 of the world’s languages and to make them available online. The Oxford Global Languages initiative is a digital global languages program launched in September 2015 with a mission to extend learning and education worldwide.
One of the awesome bits is that once a language has been digitised it can be made available in different platforms such as in apps, on websites and in many different tools and services. It is only a matter of time before we start seeing functionality such as predictive text Swahili becomes the fourth African language to be added to the digital global languages program. The other three are:
- Northern Sotho
It was only earlier in the month that Skype launched real-time translation of calls to both mobiles and landlines. This was a move aimed at enabling individuals speaking totally different dialects to keep the connections going in real-time. Unfortunately Swahili was not part of the first bunch of spoken languages supported by Skype as of launch.
If you do not believe Swahili is going global then clearly you have not watched Quantico. Swahili is widely used in season two of this series. The ugly bit is that it is used to portray a not so bright perspective of the region.