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.More
Posts Tagged ‘localization’
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.More
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.
MozCamp 2012 has been an awesome experience for me as a new Rep! I was focused on my session the days precedent the event, not having a clue that I was actually going to discover a world you could hardly imagine if you have never been to a MozCamp event! A world of values, friendship and fun that is dedicated to one thing: making the web a world for all; I would say, “making the world a web for everyone”!
Talking about values, the first evidence of the strength of being a Mozilian was when I arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport. No it was not just yet another fashionable T-shirt that I saw, but a bunch of French Mozillians proudly wearing their Firefox T-shirts, seemingly ready to fly to a Mozilla event. I did not hesitate. I went straight to meet them. “Hey, you going to Warsaw too for MozCamp?”. Everybody burst out laughing. One minute later, looked as though they’ve known me ever since. At that very moment, I felt Warsaw was going to be like anything I ever experienced.The trip was so brief I did not hear the plane reverse thrust, I was at baggage claim the minute later and soon at the Mariott hotel. I had just one thing in mind when we were waiting at the hotel lobby: finding my buddy right away! Yes David Tenser is the only words that were on my lips, David Tenser. Did you hear me? I said David Tenser.
After leaving my tiny luggage in my room at the 32nd floor of Mariott, I read my tweets again to be sure David was arriving later that evening. He should have been there by
Le Havre was the capital of Pulaagu on July 4, 2012, a memorable day of meeting and exchange around the new browser Firefox in Fulah language. This meeting was placed under the double sign of Mozilla event and the commemoration of the anniversary of PULAAGU.COM website. This presentation of Firefox in Fulah language was organized by the Fulah team leader, PULAAGU chairman and new Mozilla representative Ibrahima Sarr.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the lecture of the American John Hames, researcher and Fulah language specialist, who just joined the Firefox team. Several organizations, many from the Paris region were represented. The association KJPF (Pulaar Fulfulde Kawtal Janngooɓe) was represented by Diaalo Samba Seck; “JAAYRE” association by Ibrahima Kane said KATANTE LEÑOL; JAKKAA FULBE by Abu Kante. We had the honor to welcome the artist, storyteller, singer and “hoddu” player Daouda Dièye, who came to bring a touch of ambience and support for the language team.More