Re: NYT article: Using a New Language in Africa to Save Dying Ones

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Nov 13 2004 - 18:07:19 CST

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "Re: NYT article: Using a New Language in Africa to Save Dying Ones"

    The article describes efforts to create a Yoruba keyboard:

    > To accomplish the same result with fewer, more comfortable keystrokes,
    > Mr. Adegbola made a keyboard without the letters Q, Z, X, C and V,
    > which Yoruba does not use. He repositioned the vowels, which are high-
    > frequency, to more prominent spots and added accent marks and other
    > symbols, creating what he calls Africa's first indigenous language
    > keyboard. Now, Mr. Adegbola is at work on voice recognition software
    > that can convert spoken Yoruba into text.

    I'll bet the folks at Bisharat and elsewhere would be surprised at the
    efforts that have been made to create keyboards for Yoruba. Whether
    they are "indigenous," or whether that is relevant to their suitability
    and acceptance, I don't know.

    The Yoruba speech-recognition project sounds interesting. I would guess
    that would be a tougher problem for tonal than for non-tonal languages.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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