Return to Blitz-L
From: panafril10n@xxxxxx On Behalf Of Don Osborn
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 10:57 PM
To: 'paa kwesi imbeah'; panafril10n@xxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Blitz-l] Fwd: L10N Project Announcement
Hi Paa Kwesi, all,
Here is the draft with some comments. The biggest question - which I didn't raise in those comments - is one Marcel raised: Whether it might be better to focus on a more limited number of languages in the beginning in order to have an achievable immediate goal. There are bound to be issues that arise in the course of working on this project (as with any project), some technical, some human, some related to legal (copyright) and organizational factors.
For the sake of discussion, I'll sketch out a possible alternative approach:
One could outline two or three phases for PALDO. Phase I to create PALDO for a select few languages (say 5-8), to prove and refine the concept, and Phase II when more languages would be added to bring it up to 20-24. (A Phase III could be hinted at for a more ambitious follow-on, leveraging learning and networking from Phases I & !!, as well as new technological possibilities that we don't have yet.)
The question about choice of languages, then, is divided into 2: For Phase II the same discussion we have already begun, and for Phase I a more hard-nosed choice of which languages have the resources (language, human, monetary) that best facilitate success.
The primary object of Phase I is setting up the framework, ironing out bugs (technical, organizational), and demonstrating the concept. Lean and mean.
FOr Phase I, therefore, one would probably begin with the languages already in Kamusi's and kasahorow's work: Swahili; Akan; Gbe (focus on Ewe, the most spoken and most resourced of the Gbe tongues); Kinyarwanda (Kirundi being practically the same); and Hausa (which has a lot of materials).
For geographical balance - important for several reasons including building collaborative networks for Phase II & beyond - at least one language from southern Africa and at least one from central Africa should be added. Others might also be considered for Phase I but on the basis of how easy it will be to achieve success with them (e.g., did Ekeyede project achieve enough with Yoruba to be useful?), not so much their importance. (In Phase II the relative importance of the languages would be the critical criterion.)
Reference should certainly be made to Marcel's project proposal for Maaya to see if common attention to certain languages could stranghten both efforts and develop synergisms between the projects.
On a separate issue, one of the dimensions I thought could be brought out more in the proposal is PALDO's utility as a reference *within* the languages that are part of it - both as monolingual dictionaries and as references for standardized spellings & usage. I was reminded about how important this is the other day when I came across a site with Pulaar chat, in which the orthography used seems totally random and influenced by French conventions of spelling. "Correct spelling" is an issue for text in any language, and dictionaries may help increase familiarity with these conventions.
ANyway these are some thoughts. HTH.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blitz-l-bounces@xxxxxx On Behalf Of paa kwesi imbeah
> Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 8:07 AM
> To: panafril10n@gxxxxxx
> Cc: blitz-l@xxxxxx
> Subject: [Blitz-l] Fwd: L10N Project Announcement
> Hello Everyone,
> I'm pleased to announce to you that one of the off-the-wall projects
> has developed a proposal that we might want to include as part of our
> overall proposal to IDRC. Please read the proposal and send your
> feedback - in particular, we need to discuss who the partners will be
> for each language we choose to work on, and what role each group
> should play in the project.
> Please get a copy of the proposal - available in Word or OpenOffice
> format - at www.yale.edu/swahili/paldo and feel free to send comments
> directly to panafril10n@xxxxxx or blitz-l's list.
> Best regards,