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Page: Main.AudioFiles - Last Modified : 2016-11-04

(from the list of my contributions to the Africa_web_content_owner (AWCO) list; source: AWCO archives)

[africa_web_content_owner] Audio files?
Jan 29, 2000

In reading about the increasing use of audio files on the web I came across a mention of how some Native American groups were interested in the potential of this technology for their oral traditions. Then earlier this week I read an item on an experiment in Mauritius using audio files on computer (in local language) for agricultural extension with illiterate or semiliterate farmers.

I wondered if anyone is aware of any efforts to create audio web content in / for Africa. Might audio-files be a technology of choice in the short term for creating web content that is of some use to people who are illiterate or literate but not in the official language, as various projects begin to set up community computer & internet centers in rural towns. Creation of text-based material in maternal languages for the web is also important, but takes time and resources, and as I understand it also has to overcome the lack of standardized coding (for special characters used in many African languages).

I wonder also about the possibility of creating audio files for the web from previously published works which by now must be long out of print (the example of a couple of "Classiques africains" published by Christiane Seydou in parallel Fula & French text with phonodiscs comes quickly to mind: Silamaka & Poullori and La Geste de Ham-Bodedio). It would seem interesting to "weblish" such worthy published (as well as unpublished?) sound recordings in African languages that are more readily accessible in Northern university libraries and archives than in the lands where they were originally made. With appropriate permissions, of course. This would also represent a quick way to add African content to the internet. And in the longer term, as coding etc. issues are resolved, it would also be interesting to add the text content corresponding to the audio content (as well as parallel translations in French or Engish).

Donald Zhang Osborn, Ph.D. osborndo@...
consultant @ NRMP-Assistant-Mali@...
ANRM, IK, & ICT in the vernacular bisharat@...

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