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(Cross-posting from MANSA list, via Dave Robinson) Date: 03 February 2000 Subject: Localizing ICTs for African languages /Sujet: Identification des moyens techno pour etudiez les langues africaines. I've been getting the impression from various sources that there is no standardization (of fonts, codes, keyboards) to facilitate use of West African languages in "information & communication technologies" (ICTs - with articular attention to wordprocessing and internet). There is also little in terms of collaboration aimed at facilitating wider use of these can languages in ICTs. One notes that some efforts deal with diverse languages on a national basis and others focus on specific languages perhaps across borders, with apparently nothing happening on a regional, let alone continental level. With this set of impressions, and in the interest of better understanding what is and is not happening with regards to languages in West Africa and computing, I am interested to get perspectives from the Mande studies community. Specifically: 1) Is anyone aware of regional efforts to facilitate use of African languages on computers &/or the internet? 2) Is anyone aware or involved in any pan-Mande efforts to standardize / harmonize solutions for Mande languages in ICTs? 3) Is anyone aware of or involved in language-specific efforts to facilitate &/or encourage use of Bamana, Maninka, Jula, or Mandinka languages in ICTs (here I'd also be interested in use of audio content)? Any info or leads would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! Donald Zhang Osborn, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org consultant @ NRMP-Assistant-Mali@icrisatml.org ANRM, IK, & ICT in the vernacular email@example.com