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A linguistic "Berlin Wall" divides African web

This post was inspired by discussions with friends bloggers living in the United States, in France and Africa. It seems like the small world of Afro-techies (bloggers, developers, entreprenaute) reaches a certain maturity. We can observe beautiful initiatives here and there. But a vague impression remains: something like "linguistic Berlin Wall" is separating us, including Francophones and Anglophones, who seem to operate in parallel universes.
I would not contradict the evidence. It is difficult to keep ourselves informed regularly of what is happening on the other side. It may seem almost impossible to read afro-bloggers who write in a language we do not know - although a friend pointed out to me that Google Translate is not for dogs ;)
It seems nonetheless that we must not resign ourselves to our linguistic ghettos that neither history nor geography justifies. We must be more curious and we should manage to know us better and to have better exchanges.

How many times have I heard complaints about the Web 2.0 players in Anglophone Africa, who make “no effort” and do not instinctively associate other Afro-oriented “techies” to their events and meetings? How to explain this kind of autism, if it exists ?
Beyond what can be considered like interpersonal communication problems, it seems that the linguistic challenge is also a technological and economic challenge for us. For example, large platforms like Facebook and Google are safe to translate their interfaces in as many languages as possible, simply because they want to expand their user base and their financial value, simply.

Should we not do the same? How many Kenyan or South African start-ups are interested by developments in Côte d'Ivoire and Gabon? How many Cameroonian startups would benefit to cross the border and conquer Nigeria? I think that investor’s interest would increase if we could develop online brands which go beyond language barriers. In this regard, the blogging platform Maneno shows the path.
How to start it ? The debate is open.

(With Google Translate)


It's a good start there. Your comment is translated.

You should do that most often and you will see more people coming from "Other Side".

Everything should be in English regarding how the world goes, I don't care if it's English or French, because both language are not African. So using French or English to create more exchanges between both side should be fine.

But for me the most important is the content not the container. We should create a platform where we can share tools and tricks using technologies for Web 2. We should more advertise what we do.

Facebook and others social websites are not the place to do that. We can create the platform a website per example for the knowledge sharing. Many ideas are out there.

Second thing, you should proose to Ivoire-blog to create a tool that could help you @Theo to translate only your comment automatically. If we react on your comment we can write in French, English whatever the language but everyone from the "other side" can understand and share with us.

We are good talking/writing in the language we know very well because we can play with it.

Guys "the Web 2 brain storm party" is started and we so far behind....

Find before looking

Écrit par : metu | 27/10/2009

I'm agree with you...
My english is not so fluent, i'm making some efforts to express myself in english, when i'm going in other blog, like US and british bloggers platform.
If we want to promote our platform.. by extension, our ideas around the world. We must be speaking many languages.
I notice that many of french have scared, when they must speak english in front of many person... But if we don't speak many languages for being more and more important in a world of blog. I think we lost, our time. Thanks

Écrit par : Bestday | 27/10/2009

good points -- my work is to include all people, regardless of language, age, education or culture.

when we are together, we use gestures and pictures, draw in dirt with sticks, if necessary so that everyone has a voice. In one hour, they are using technology!

mon metier est la langue universelle, les renseignments our tout le monde. Les gens de la bas, qui n'ont pas ordinateurs.


Écrit par : Debbi | 27/10/2009

I had been thinking about the subject of linguistic wall a while ago. Translation tools like Google Translate are fine. Their problem is that they produce less than satisfactory translations. It would be interesting to find out whether or not some members of the community are willing to translate articles produced by other members for the benefit of the community. By that I mean that when I think that an article by theo should interest english speaking readers I translate it and make it available. It will take time to do so, however it will be time well spent. For example, as readers of Theo's blog, we can translate those articles we find interesting . Anybody wishing to translate must tell the community about his efforts.In that way work in translating is not duplicated. When the translation is ready, he will submit the translation to Theo, or any member of the community well versed in english, for approval. Theo will then let readers know that the article has been translated by adding a link to the translation to the original article or simply by adding the translation to his blog.

Écrit par : paisible | 28/10/2009

At any rate, if Google Translate will do, why not just use it? I guess it will produce the bulk of the translation. Then whoever created the translation can bring modifications to those sentences or words he believes could have been better translated than what Google Translate produced. However, the whole process of translation still rests with the readers, with the community.

Écrit par : paisible | 28/10/2009

We have a lot of problems.

The reconstruction of our Countries and Africa and the World must be done now! God needs men, women and young peoples who can say: No to corruption! No to perversion! No to hate and lie, to deal with the real problems facing Africa and the rest of the world. Listen, Africa as the whole world now suffer a deep crisis, it is not political or financial, but it is Spiritual! By reading what Newspapers said, we understand how many times our customs make us sin against our Good Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We need a spiritual rebirth! If we do not want the things that happen to others, happen to us. (ex: Rwanda Genocide), we must repent, In addition to the desecration of the place of worship of God, Sexual reports sins are the most outrageous, which cut our contact with our God, and leave us dead ! You can say that we are still alive, no; most of us are living dead! All these relationships that we make: Incest! Adultery! Abomination! Fornication! Pedophilia! Homosexuality! Have sex with a woman in period is an abomination, Making sex without being married is fornication! Theft, fraud of any kind... All those who will remain guilty of these sins will not see God! It is time that we should repent, so that our Lord Holy Spirit blesses us with prosperity, success and long life. The condition to have all these beneficial effects, are obedience to Jesus Christ. Since we do only the opposite, that is to say, disobeying, we are in death every day! To know more about it visit: May God open our eyes and bless us to understand and obey Him, in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of our Lord Holy Spirit. Amen

Écrit par : DieuSauve.Twitter.Com | 28/04/2010

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Écrit par : Mietwagen Mallorca | 28/07/2010

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