December 03, 2004 5:21 PM

Training material for Swahili translators

The klnX linguistic team has prepared a set of training documents for Swahili translators. The materials has been produced to support our work with the localization of open source software into Swahili. The five documents are available to download here.

The work is licenced under the terms of Creative Commons ShareAlike license that permits others to copy, distribute, display the work.

Imetumwa na aep | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: HABARI, SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY

October 22, 2004 11:11 AM

Discussion Board Tool Released!

Today, we release KiPot 1.0, an open source (GNU) discussion tool developed by Louise to support the localization of OpenOffice by our Open Swahili Localization team. After finishing the first Swahili IT Glossary of aprox. 700 terms we very quickly understood two things: the first was that the glossary needs to be extended constantly and the second was that the extended glossary required a fluent communication between our technical team and the Swahili linguistic experts.

The purpose of KiPot is to facilitate the communication between translators and linguistics in the process of glossary development. Although the tool has been designed to satisfy our special needs, we have put special effort in a clean design that could allow other localization efforts to reuse and extend our code.

DOWNLOAD The full code of the KiPot 1.0 is now available. Happy Kipoting!

Why KiPot? Read the KiPoT'sFAQ

Imetumwa na aep | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: HABARI, OUR HACKS!, SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY

October 19, 2004 6:48 PM

Swahili IT Glossary available to download

Our Swahili IT Glossary is now freely available to download. As far as we know this is the first Swahili IT glossary available to anyone without the need of registering or signing a non-disclosure agreement.

You can read more about the methodology that we followed to create the glossary here

After collecting the opinion of different reviewers (thanks all for your comments and encouragement) we will like to address some of the comments that we have received.

Here are the comments of S. Sewangi the coordinator of our linguistic panel of experts to some of the most frequent questions.

  • Why we choose the word 'poku' for mouse instead of 'panya'?
    -Puku is the swahili equivalent of mouse whereas panya is an equivalent for rat.
  • Why we call e-mail 'barue e-' and electronic mail 'barua-pepe'?
    -Barua e- stands for barua eloktroniki which is a synonym of barua pepe. Therefore we thought that the best equivalent of E-mail should be Barua e-.
  • Why we choose 'ufutaji' for deleting instead of 'kufuta' or 'inafuta'?
    -Ufutaji unlike kufuta or inafuta belongs to the Swahili noun class whereas the other two belong to the verb class. So where deleting is used as a verb it is proper to use futa (ku- or ina-) but where it stands for a process of deleting it should be ufutaji.
  • Why we call the desktop 'dawati' and not 'dawatini'?
    -Dawatini sounds like 'inside the desk' whereas dawati stands for a carrier.
  • Why we choose the word 'nywila' for password?
    -nywila has been derived from nywinywila a historical term which was used as a password during the 'Majimaji war' against the Germans. The term has been reduced to 'nywila' just for simplification purposes.

The whole glossary is available for download in different formats. Make it available and share it with others. It is Open!

Creative Commons License
The English-Swahili IT Glossary licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Copyright 2004 klnX Project, Creative Commons ShareAlike license: The licensor (Open Swahili Localization Project - also known as KiLiNuX or klnX) permits others to copy, distribute, display this work. In return, licensees must give the original author(s) credit. Derivative works must be licensed under the same terms as the original work.

Imetumwa na aep | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY

October 03, 2004 12:49 PM

The IT Glossary has been sent to our first graders!

Thanks to all that have volunteered and have already joint the Open Swahili Localization Effort!. We have received more than ten requests from volunteers that want to "grade" our glossary.

If you have volunteer please read carefully the following guidelines, as they will help you during your task.

During the last month we have been working in the creation of an IT Glossary. The document that we send you contains 700 IT terms in English and their Kiswahili correspondents. The work is the result of more than four man months.

With your grading we want to identify which terms require further discussion. The terms are the result of the work of our linguistic team working closely with computer scientists.

It is important that before you start your grading you consider the following:

1. Some of the words as open, close or copy are very common in Kiswahili and they will sound familiar to you. Others as execute, event or eject might sound to you strange and unfamiliar. It might even be the first time that you read such a Kiswahili word construction.

It is very normal that when people hear certain words for "first time" believe that they are bad options.

We will like you to stop for a while and take some time to think if the word that we are presenting (although it might be unfamiliar) can or cannot communicate a similar or identical concept that the English word. If the Kiswahili word can communicate the concept, then it should be consider a good choice although it will take sometime to people to get used to it.

We are aware that "words" can even sound very funny, because you are not used to them; that is very normal just try to grade if they are good options to "adapt" the English to Kiswahili. Problably the first time that someone used the word "mouse" in the computer sense many people also smiled at him or her. Kiswahili has a rich grammar that allows the creation of new terms in different ways that the English does. Most of Kiswahili speakers are not aware of that, finding the correspondent IT terms in Kiswahili is not more difficult that in any other language.

Take some time and try to understand the way we have came up with the terms and you will see that most of them should make sense to you... and in a some years noone will consider them strange.

2. We have spent a lot of time thinking in good quality terms in Kiswahili, as we believe that is also important that Kiswahili speakers enrich their language.

Think during your grading that the goal is to create an easier environment for people to learn about computers. The Kiswahili IT terms aim to facilitate the task but as in any other language, they cannot teach computers by themselves. Training is needed always in any case. We believe that a Kiswahili environment is better than an English one for the majority of Kiswahili speakers.

In the same way that English speakers need to learn what the functionality of the ESC (escape) key in the computer is, we expect that Kiswahili speakers will have to learn also the functionality of the Kiswahili equivalent EPA (epuca) key. 3. All the words that we present in the list are related to computer science with main focus on "text processing software". If you do not understand the meaning of a computer term in English (for example the word "edit") you can check for some definitions in, by searching for [define: edit], write in the input box (define: word_you_do_not_understand)

Google will present you with a set of definitions; try to identify the ones that are related to computers.

So, if everything is clear it is time for "grading".

If you have any questions you can address them to:

  • Alberto Escudero (about the methodology, technical questions in general, english)
  • Seleman S. Sewangi (about the swahili choices, linguistic aspects, swahili and english)
  • Mturi Elias (about the methodology, technical questions in general, swahili)

How to grade the En-Sw IT Glossary?

1. Opening the document

The glossary is in a SpreadSheet document with the title:


If you need any other format(s) please let us ( know.

2. Fill your data

Fill your personal data in the document: Name, Date and e-mail

3. Fill the third column with your grade The document contains four columns - English term (indicating with (v) verb or (n) noun - Kiswahili term (indicating with (t) verb or(n) noun - Grade (this is the place where you have to grade the terms) - Suggestions (this is the place where you can write your suggestions)

The grade field should be completed with a number from 1 to 5 as follows:

(5) Great option. No doubt! (4) Good option although others options could be better. (3) Just Fine, i can accept that translation. (2) Bad option, but i can NOT suggest anything better. (1) Terrible!. I CAN suggest something much better myself. n/a. I do not know what to answer. I do not know the english term.

4. Send your document by e-mail with the Subject: IT GLOSSARY GRADING completed back to no latter than the 10th of October 19.00 PM (DSM local time). Please respect the deadline!

Once again, we welcome you to our Open Swahili Localization Effort!

Alberto and the rest of the klnX team!

Creative Commons License
The English-Swahili IT Glossary licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Copyright 2004 klnX Project, Creative Commons ShareAlike license: The licensor (Open Swahili Localization Project - also known as KiLiNuX or klnX) permits others to copy, distribute, display this work. In return, licensees must give the original author(s) credit. Derivative works must be licensed under the same terms as the original work.

Imetumwa na aep | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: HABARI, SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY

September 30, 2004 7:28 PM

Volunteers for review of IT Glossary needed!

We are aware that creating a Kiswahili IT Glossary is not an easy task and that is why we are puting a great effort in our first official release.

Our methodology can be summarized in three phases:

  • During the first phase (August 2004) a selected list of IT terms were sent to our panel of Kiswahili experts. To encourage discussions, the members of the panel were requested to work with the list of terms separately.

  • The second phase consisted in compiling all the different inputs from the panel into a database. With the help of the database and other auxiliary online resources, we have had a set of face-to-face meetings where the terms where discussed in the presence of computer scientists. Our multidisplinary group composed by an average of ten people has spent a total of 30 hours in face-to-face meetings.

  • The last phase before a broad release of the IT Glossary to the public domain consists in requesting a small group a "grading" of our proposal.
Before posting our Kiswahili IT Glossary we are looking for a limited group of volunteers that are willing to "grade" each term of our proposal. We are seeking kiswahili speakers familiar with computers (no necessary experts) that are willing to spend a total of two hours during the first week of October 2004.

We will provide them with the list of english-kiswahili terms and request to grade them. After collecting the results we will identify which terms deserve more attention.

Help us! Contact Alberto Escudero by e-mail for further details: All the work of the klnX project will be released freely to the public domain.

Imetumwa na aep | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: HABARI, SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY

September 23, 2004 11:15 PM

Microsoft IT Glossary Proposal needs open review

This file contains the first version (20040923) of the Swahili Community Glosssary that Microsoft has released in their website.

According to Microsoft's project description, their Community Glossary project for Kiswahili is the result of the work of free volunteers world wide. The project provides an online forum to help create a standardized glossary of IT terminology for the 'Kiswahili language' (in just eight weeks!).

Unfortunately the forum requires volunteers to register within their controversial Passport system and for some oscure reason to be at least 18 years of age.

We beleive that such an important task, as the creation of an IT Glossary for the Kiswahili speakers, can not be done if the information is not easily available to those who have a poor Internet connection. As the result of this beleive and our commitment to create an adequate IT Glossary we have converted Microsoft's Kiswahili Glossary to GNU gettext, an open format designed to minimize the impact of internationalization on program sources.

We want to notice that while our main goal is to localize open source software for the majority of Kiswahili speakers, we are trying not to ignore the Kiswahili regional diferences. It is our concern that the methodology that Microsoft has adopted which includes restricted access to their proposal and the assumption of an universal Kiswahili language might not be adequate. For example, two volunteers out of 75 registered in their online forum has contributed with more than 90% of all the suggestions.

We encourage any kind of corrections and suggestions to both Microsoft and the KLNX team. We suggest that you download the glossary and send your changes and comments after processing the file with the cross-platform and open source program poedit.

Meanwhile, we are working hard in our first release of the glossary, that we will share with you soon. Join us in the discussions! All the efforts will be part of a free and open source software available to anyone.

Imetumwa na Kilinux | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: HABARI, OUR HACKS!, SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY

September 22, 2004 10:33 PM

Swahili IT Glossary

We are working with the english-swahili IT Glossary. The first glossary contains over a thousand IT terms in english that need to be translated to swahili. Part of the methodology that we have adopted for the creation of the glossary is to take the necessary time to explain each of the IT terms to our panel of swahili linguistic experts. In order to find the best translation, an average of 4 minutes per term is spent to reach a satisfactory consensus.

Most of the technical work in this phase of the project concentrates in migrating existing glossaries to GNU gettext format. Different sources of information has been integrated into Poedit, an open source frontend to gettext.

We have also migrated the work done by the Microsoft Community Glossary Initiative to what we understand is a real open format that does not require any one to register via Microsoft Passport or be at least 18 years old to contribute.

All the glossaries including the result of our discussions will be posted in this website soon. Any feedback about the terminology is very welcome. We will place all the glossaries in multiple formats with the aim of facilitating your feedback and contribution. We will provide anyone with a mechanism to edit and suggest changes without the need of constant access to the Internet.

Imetumwa na aep | Kiungodumu | Kategoria: HABARI, SWAHILI IT GLOSSARY