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PAL-lists | ... in the spirit of service



For the Pan African Localisation (PAL) project, one challenge was how to provide for communication among a diverse group of localizers - African and foreign - who worked primarily in different Europhone languages (per "Anglophone," "Francophone," and "Lusophone" countries). A single email list would not easily accommodate multiple languages (and probably would tend to migrate to the language of the majority - English), and maintaining separate lists for three working languages - English, French, and Portuguese - would inevitably cantonize discussions.

A solution was found in working with FUNREDES, which had previously developed an automatic machine translation (MT) program for email lists. They adapted it to operating on three languages (which may have been a first). Although the translation results, which relied on an online translation service, were uneven (especially in Portuguese), they did provide speakers of two languages with the gist of what was being communicated in a third.

The language-specific list titles were:

  • PAL-en
  • PAL-fr
  • PAL-pt

With the conclusion of the PAL project (in 2008), these lists are no longer active, but the archives are available at PAL-archives. For a more complete discussion of the lists and the MT program, see the PanAfrLoc wiki.

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