October 27, 2004 10:27 PM

Open Swahili Projects Join Forces Internationally!

We are happy to announce the partnership of two projects devoted to using computers to promote the Swahili language. The Open Swahili Localization Project, also known as KiLiNuX (KlnX), based at the University of Dar es Salaam Department of Computer Science, is teaming up with the Kamusi Project Internet Living Swahili Dictionary, based at the Yale University Council on African Studies.

The Kamusi Project is an ongoing work of collaborative scholarship that is developing free online dictionary and learning resources for Swahili. Established in 1994, it is the world's most-used resource for the Swahili language, and the first result for "Swahili" delivered by most Internet search engines. The Kamusi Project will provide a permanent home for the terminology developed by KlnX; the KlnX data will be integrated within the online Kamusi, with a special "KlnX" designation. Visitors to the Kamusi Project will thereby know the source of terms that originated with the KlnX project, and they also will be able to select to view the KlnX data as a separate specialized dictionary.

At the same time, KlnX is implementing a Tanzanian mirror server for the Kamusi Project. This server will be connected to the Tanzania Internet Exchange (TIX). The server will synchronize data regularly with the main Kamusi server in the US, and will provide local access to the project to all Tanzanian IP addresses. This mirror server will greatly increase the speed and reduce the costs of connecting Tanzanians to the Kamusi Project, and will serve as the starting point for bringing the University of Dar es Salaam fully into TIX. KlnX is also developing a streamlined implementation system that will enable the future addition of mirror servers in other countries.

Work on the technical aspects of the collaboration is already quite advanced. We are currently looking for a computer to act as the permanent mirror server in Tanzania, and we are finishing some coding that is necessary to incorporate the specialized Klnx vocabulary into the Kamusi Project database.

This collaboration will be of great benefit to both projects, by easing Tanzanian access to the Kamusi Project and by making KlnX available to the quarter of a million people who visit the Kamusi Project each year.

Posted by aep | Categories: NEWS