The World, in African Languages
Paa Kwesi Imbeah, Editor, The kasahorow Dictionary Project, The GhanaThink Foundation/Yale University, USA

Intended Audience: Content Developers, Software Engineers, Font Designers, Web Designers, Web Publishers

Session Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Electronic publishing technologies have matured greatly, facilitating publishing in minority status African languages. This paper reviews the current state of internet publishing as is relevant to African languages, as well as common technologies that are in use and their potential for promoting minority status African languages. User-friendly approaches such as the example of the kasahorow multilingual dictionary are presented. The kasahorow dictionary utilizes web Unicode standards and simple JavaScript routines to abstract the difficulties of Unicode character input away from the user of the kasahorow web interface. The user of the kasahorow dictionary does not have to install special software beyond a JavaScript enabled browser in order to input WYSIWYG non-Latin language characters into the search interface of the dictionary. African language computing creates an avenue for durable ICT penetration into the fabric of non-elite African society. The challenge is primarily one of making the computing process as transparent as possible to the African user, making computing natural in an African environment.

Who will benefit: Organizations/individuals attempting to make accessible to an African community the possible benefits of ICT.

A description of the business benefit:

The kasahorow dictionary is a popular dictionary of the Akan language group. It is meant to help improve the accessibility of written material meant for oral communication to all who can comprehend any of the Twi/Fante varieties of Akan. The project is supported by the GhanaThink Foundation (