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Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT) – An Event Report

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Read and engage – Poster session

The 6th Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT) is the first event focusing on African languages technology I ever attended.  Actually it is a joint conference along with the 25th annual symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA) and the 7th Robotics and Mechatronics (RobMech) Conference of South Africa. Although I have already attended other conferences in South Africa, like ANLOC’s (African Network for Localization), this event was more of a research event focusing on language students in South African Universities. This is why it was important for me, as a Mozilla Rep from the continent to attend this event. And I was not disappointed although everything did not work out as I planned. Learn more …

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Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT) – An Event Report

intro_image

Read and engage – Poster session

The 6th Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT) is the first event focusing on African languages technology I ever attended.  Actually it is a joint conference along with the 25th annual symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA) and the 7th Robotics and Mechatronics (RobMech) Conference of South Africa. Although I have already attended other conferences in South Africa, like ANLOC’s (African Network for Localization), this event was more of a research event focusing on language students in South African Universities. This is why it was important for me, as a Mozilla Rep from the continent to attend this event. And I was not disappointed although everything did not work out as I planned.

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Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 01:40

BAMAKO: People have added a new word in their vocabulary: « Mozilla »! (Event report)

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Arky and I during Firefox OS presentation

The Airbus A319 was taxiing hastily to runway 24 of the W terminal of Orly airport, second busiest in Paris. We had a delay, exceptionally, like every flight to Lisbon I took recently. But you know aircraft are much faster than they have to be because they need to fit with schedule and other traffic. So the crew can make up the delay during flight and land exactly at ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). Well I really didn’t care much when I would land in Lisbon; the only thing I know is that I am going to be flying to Bamako six hours after landing in Lisbon. If only we could loop in the air until about time to continue my trip, it would be great! Again, no, we cannot loop with that kind of aircraft because you might spill some coke on that lady’s dress and spoil the flight for all the passengers.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 18 January 2015 04:46

MOZILLA LOCALIZATION workshop in Dakar: “Empowering African Languages”!

dakarl10n_intro20140305_200046Localization workshopLocalization Workshop in Dakar, Senegal (March 3-4 2014)

Theme: “Empowering African Languages”

Venue: Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

Hotel : Auberge Marie Lucienne, Point E, Dakar

I have been planning this event since 2012! And it is an old dream to gather people who are literate in non-English languages to show them what we can do with our languages. I wanted to show them that not knowing English or French does not condemn you to darkness forever and that Mozilla has open doors for us so we can do more for our languages and people and at the same time do better. My ambition was at first to gather speakers of Fulah from many countries along with Wolof speakers to train them in using Mozilla localization tools, specially the ones that I have been using which have proved to be really efficient. I am thinking of Translatehouse Translate Toolkit tools like Virtaal and the Pootle Server.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 7 September 2014 05:02

BORN a localizer: the long road to mother tongue digitalization

born_localizer When my father, a colonial army veteran, retired as a police officer, I was about 9! I remember the first time he announced that we were leaving the city forever to go back to our roots, the village of Thioubalel (meaning little fisherman in Fulah). But before anybody in the large family had time to cry because we were all born there, we were already gone. The day we left was one of the saddest days in my life!
But, I did not realize that day was also going to become the most important turning point in my own life. When I went to the village, I hardly spoke any Fulah because I always used the lingua-franca of the city, which was not Fulah. I even used to look down upon those who spoke Fulah as unsophisticated. That was precisely why my father was waiting impatiently to get us out of there since we were getting “lost”!
So I became a villager, and soon a fluent and proud speaker of this wonderful language. It was wonderful to see how easy it was to use Fulah to talk about life in the village. Everything seemed so natural when you spoke Fulah and amazingly there was a word for every single thing that you could see around.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 16 March 2014 07:41

WEBMAKER: A great Maker party in the heart of Normandy!

Whoaoooooaaaa!!!

Whoaoooooaaaa!!!

The first Webmaker event held on Saturday June 29th in France was a real success although it was only aimed at a limited number of high school pupils due to equipment restrictions. I have planned this event during the wonderful and instructive REMO training days in Athens. It was postponed from May 14th due to exams and the nearing end of school year in France. It was held at Jean Monet high school in a small town called Gruchet-le-Valasse in the heart of the Pays de Caux, the Normandy country.

When I first wrote to the school principal, she already knew that I was a Mozilla volunteer and a rep. So the idea of organizing a Mozilla event immediately pleased her and the go head was granted right away. Before that, I wrote a description of the Webmaker initiative with links to French press articles about Webmaker and more links in English. Actually she was surprised not to be aware of all this Webmaking movement although it was in the news regularly.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 11:42
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