Twitter Indexes Kiswahili as one of its languages ahead of #AfricanLanguagesDay
eNitiate, a Pan-African digital agency recently launched a social media campaign #AfricanLanguagesDay. The campaign, which was inspired by what it described as the unfair treatment that many of the African native languages are facing on social media where some of the biggest languages from the continent are not included in language lists of the popular social networks and are thus mis-indexed.
#AfricanLanguagesDay is aimed at encouraging an estimated 300 million Africans on social media to "speak" in their indigenous languages more frequently on these platforms.
The campaign kicked off In February as a build-up to Africa Day taking place on the 25th of May 2018. The day will be targeted for shining the light on African native languages, driven by Africans on the continent and in the diaspora.
Following the launch of #AfricanLanguagesDay, which has generated interesting conversations and content on social media, Twitter has now indexed Kiswahili, the largest native African language with over 100 million speakers overall. This is the first language of African origin that is now recognised on this microblog. While translations of Kiswahili are not 100%, it is indeed a good start, says eNitiate.
“The #AfricanLanguagesDay was launched two months ago to achieve recognition of the continent’s languages on social media and we are pleased that Twitter, as one of the key social networks that provide an effective platform for global impact, have taken the first step by indexing Kiswahili,” says Bra Willy Seyama, Founder of eNitiate.