TLF- Google Swahili Localization Workshop 5 & 12 September, Nairobi

The internet presents a world of opportunities and a body of knowledge that is yet to be discovered by many in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is also lacking in content that is authored by and useful to other Africans. Sustainable translation & localization of software for African users is critical to the growth of local content and increased internet usage by the "mwananchi". With this in mind, Google Kenya is teamed up with the Tamarind Linguists’ Forum, a group by Tamarind Translations Ltd Nairobi, to deliver a workshop to address best practice of software translation into Swahili and translation via the newly launched Google Translator Toolkit. The workshop also involved a hands-on volunteer translation marathon where participants competed in groups to deliver best Kiswahili translations for Blogger.com, the free web-based blog hosting service from Google. The workshop was split into 2 sessions: training on 5th September and the translation workshop on 12th September 2009. A group of 30 volunteer translators drawn from TLF and other institutions attended this unique Kiswahili localization events in Nairobi, and used the Google Translator Toolkit with assistance from the 'Googlers' in attendance. Many thanks to Google Kenya team led by Denis Gikunda and Salome Nduku for this event that was well planned and fun-filled. Special thanks to Team leaders Dr. Chacha, Dr. Sheila., Dr. Mbuthia Dr. Miriam Osore, and Mr. Msonobari Mpasua- you guys were fantastic in guiding the whole exercise with your very valuable expertise. Msonobari - we are still laughing real Swahili jokes…! Thanks too to the Swahili TLF members (now grown to a very big family of over 20 in Nairobi) and indeed all other the participants. More details in the Blog being created by Denis, and good luck as you finalize the translation. I can’t wait to re-create this blog using the new Kiswahili interface!

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