Archive for March 3rd, 2011

>SPEAK YORUBA TO YOUR CHILDREN AND SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE!

March 3, 2011

>

http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/where-is-tunde-adegbola-our-linguistic-heritage-is-dying.html

05
Jan
2011

Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!

I had my first child in 1999. The little boy was growing up in an English speaking Yoruba family. My elder brother one day said to me: e je ki omo yin gbo Yoruba a. His message was quite clear, but the vogue then in Lagos was (and still is) English language and it was a pride even if your child cannot say a word in Yoruba or any other mother tongue. I did not see anything wrong in that until sometimes back around 2003 (I do not remember precisely), a fine gentleman, Tunde Adegbola, was at the Science Lecture Theatre of our university (of Ilorin) with a campaign for the resurgence of African languages and their integration into modern ICTs. I cannot recall from his talk but have culled from his webpage that the “core objectives of the African Languages Technology Initiative (Alt-i) encompass the need to make modern ICTs relevant to African Languages. As we go further into the information age, more and more human communication will be mediated by machines, and this will raise the demand, not only for humans to communicate through machines but also to communicate with machines. There is no reason whatsoever why we should be made to do this in English. In order to achieve these modes of communication in African languages however, there is a need to supplement the present objectives of the study of linguistics in African universities. Within the contexts of the linguistics of African languages, we need to develop frameworks and theories that can be passed on to and used by practitioners in Human Language Technology (HLT). To this end, Alt-i is involved in developing the relevant human and other intellectual resources to facilitate this process.”
I however recall that Tunde noted that regrettably many African languages are creeping into extinction and are being replaced by the Oyinbo language of the poorest and most disgusting standards. While appreciating Tunde’s efforts and initiatives on the ICT issues, it is the possibility of the African languages going into extinction that is of great concern in this piece. Let me be particular about the Yoruba elites of today. These are a people gradually consigning their language to dustbin of history. Many homes, even at home in Nigeria, no longer know Yoruba as a medium of communication. In fact they do not feel anything wrong with saying “my son does not speak Yoruba”. Some of them will say “he understands but cannot speak it”. They pride not only in speaking English language but in not being able to speak Yoruba. Sad and indeed very sad! Pathetic and too damn shameful! I have patiently studied issues about this unwholesome trend. I have asked questions: why the drift towards English language (and consequent abandonment of the local language even at homes) and what gains there are (if any) in the drift. The objective is not to advocate a change of our lingua franca, but to call attention to issues needing awareness: the fact that our local languages must necessarily be preserved and valued.
I have discovered that the people’s thinking is that since English is our official language as a nation and that it must be passed at credit level at the WASCE/SSCE before admission into any higher institution in the country, then the better if parents begin to speak it to their children right from home, nay right from birth. I do not know and have not found any better justification for the trend. Maybe some others may think speaking English language makes you fashionable, I do not know. But the thinking that speaking a language affords an opportunity for a pass in an examination is too damn shallow, only driven by zeal and never by knowledge. Think about it: a language spoken to a growing child is acquired by the child as indigenous language. He does not understand the technicalities of the language – just like our forefathers speak their various dialects and were unable to even read their “i” if stood before them like the (Nigerian) electric pole. It is for this reason that village school children who never heard English language spoken in their homes but have the rare opportunity of being well trained in its structures, may often do well and better than their city counterparts, whose adopted first language is the Queen’s. And needless to say there is not any good result from this approach to learning our national language. And how can there be? When, unspeakably laughable, the English language being spoken in many Yoruba homes today is not the type that can pass anyone in any examination, not even the school leaving certificate examination as it is evident in our nation’s educational system today.
I remember Tunde seized the audience when he started reeling out versions of English language of his own tribe – the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The large theatre was rent with crackling laughter as he mentioned something like (I do not remember precisely): “go and open the door down”, “don’t play rough play o”, “it is two, two naira”, “be going o” and “go and work your work”. Even the uneducated are convinced they have to try. They are encouraged not to feel shy, to just try and speak English language even if heavens will fall. What about the half-educated? Ha! It is real drama if you have an opportunity to listen. Isn’t it funny how our people think? Should you have a chance to see the written English language of our students in the tertiary institutions, you would definitely wonder if anything has been achieved via this approach to learning, nay if more harm than good has not been done. Many can no longer write formal letters or what used to be known as “application letters”. In fact asking them to write a report is close to asking them to climb up the firmaments. This is in spite of the fact some of them speak the Queen’s language almost naturally, having been nurtured in an elite home.
That everyone is in so much romance with a foreign language (or English, in particular) has its connotations. One, we are losing our native language and, two; we may not be gaining any as a people. Maybe we are inventing a new English language is the best that can be said of us. And there shall be no thanks for that – not from the Queen, whose language is being bastardized by a people ashamed of their identity, nor the identity-conscious people of Yoruba origin. Even if perfection is attained in a foreign language, it shall not suffice for us to reduce our mother tongue to mere figments of history. So where is Tunde Adegbola? Let him speak out loud against this drift. Let him seize every opportunity to tell the people to identify with their own. Let him make use of all media and concerned individuals to carry on the campaign for the renaissance of the Yoruba language. Let the government support this cause. Let individuals also lend their hands in their little ways – speaking the language and encouraging it at least. I have joined in the cause. I talk to people about it. I speak it except when otherwise necessary – maybe officially. I remember particularly mentioning it in a mosque class, emphasizing that there should not be so much preference for a language over the other to the extent of almost strangulating one. The Qur’an mentions that difference in tongues of humankind is a sign from their Lord. So let no one language submerge or consume the other. A people whose language is lost is a people whose identity is lost.
For the sake of information, we must know that the mother-tongue preservation campaign transcends any race. Peoples of the world are becoming conscious of the danger of losing a heritage as important as the tongue. I had a privilege of visiting the Republic of Ireland and found the Irish complaining of losing their Irish language to the English during the colonial era – I never knew the Irish were also colonized by the English. They are also making serious effort at bringing back to life their lost heritage. We must also know that the many nations of the world which pass on knowledge by the medium of the native languages are not made backward by that. Or what can anyone say of China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia and others, who do scientific researches and communicate their results in their languages. These nations have not lagged a bit due to their choice of medium of communication. Rather, doing this has facilitated their processes of learning. We can do same if given proper consideration. I had a rare opportunity of seeing that there are scripts (the Japanese for example) that run vertically, top to down, simply because they are not lost. The diversity enables much more appreciation of our make as humans and the nature. I must repeat, however, that changing our national language is not what is being advocated in this article. Rather the advocacy is that, at the least, our local tongues must not be allowed to give way. We must encourage learning them in every way we can. I have however heard people complain about the content of Yoruba language as a discipline in our tertiary institutions – that those fetishes of the Yoruba culture are being taught as part of language training! I have seen students rejecting studies in Yoruba language for this singular reason. I think this should be discouraged to enable more and more individuals to pick interest in learning the language. Our policy makers should leave fetish to the its people and allow our language to be studied by all interested.
The Hausa people of northern Nigeria here deserve a commendation for their tenacity with their linguistic heritage. They demonstrate real affection for their language every place and every time.  How marvelous a people! They go even a step further, extending love and affection to aliens who speak their language. I am not sure, but I am disposed to believing the Hausa people will speak their native tongue, at least, in their homes even in foreign lands. This is an attitude that is commendable and preserving of the Hausa culture and tradition. It is in sharp contrast with the attitude of the Yoruba people to their own. They show grave disdain to tribesman who chooses to communicate with them in Yoruba! Sometimes they bully: “speak in English, please!” Sometimes you don’t need to be told you have to speak English language before them, their countenances tell you straight you have to change your language to English especially when you visit their offices. I remember a school friend said to me he cannot marry a woman whose English is not sound. Why? Everyone in his family speak English, even the grandparents, so could not imagine his woman not being able to communicate with family members (who are Yoruba) in fine English! What a people!
I should mention on the last note that the day Tunde gave his talk, I got home and said to my wife: “kosi oyinbo siso ninu ile yi mo”. She thought I was joking until I told her about Tunde’s campaign and reminded her of her own “don’t play rough play o”. She then surrendered. I made it a point of duty not to speak English language except officially so much so that people ordinarily assume, with my choice of language and cultural appearance, I am not likely to be educated. I am happy with that and I feel fulfilled, rather than wearing the emblem of a different people. Unfortunately, I must confess, I have not fully recovered from the loss of many years (until 2003) as I still struggle to find the choice words in my rich Yoruba language. As for “owe” (proverbs) and “asayan oro”, the creams of the Yoruba language, many would really need deliverance as the Pentecostals would say. This is the extent of the damage to our linguistic heritage! Yoruba ro o nu o.
Luqmaan K. O. Babalola teaches Pure Mathematics at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
kobabalola@gmail.com <!– document.write( '‘ ); //–> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <!– document.write( '’ ); //–> , babalola.ko@unilorin.edu.ng <!– document.write( '‘ ); //–> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <!– document.write( '’ ); //–>
070 5807 9297

1
posted on 01-07-2011, 11:58:39 AM
Prof penkelemess
Re: Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!
Prof,

thought-provoking.

I hope we get a lively debate going on this.

will try to contribute my little bit later.

THANKS

gerd meuer

posted on 01-07-2011, 22:38:05 PM
Nigeria on my mind
Re: Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!
The fact that English is a mandatory requirement for admission into institutions of higher learning is a travesty in our academic philosophy. I remember a school mate who was an engineering major in my school days decades ago, before the explosion of cultism, before the degradation of scholastic standards, whose inadequate score in English prevented him from securing admission to a University. His situation was noteworthy because he had passed the subjects most pertinent to his major (physics, chemistry and maths) with flying colors. Many other brilliant scholars of the time were equally victimized.
1

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>OMOWE TUNDE ADEGBOLA IS SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE!

March 3, 2011

>

FROM yeyeolade.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 03, 2011

SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE-OMOWE TUNDE ADEGBOLA IS IN THE FOREFRONT OF FIGHTING TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE-HERE HE DEVELOPED MICROSOFT SOFTWARE FOR YORUBA,IGBO AND HAUSA!

https://i1.wp.com/ccs.ukzn.ac.za/files/A-tande.jpg

Wednesday April 2, 2003

Microsoft to Deliver Windows, Office in Major Nigerian Languages

Microsoft has announced that it will deliver Language Interface Packs that will soon make Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office packages more locally-relevant and easier to understand for Nigerian end users in commemoration of the International Mother Language Day in Nigeria.

The disclosure was made when Jummai Umar-Ajijola, citizenship manager for Microsoft Nigeria led a team of Microsoft partners to make a presentation to the Chairman, Education Committee, House of Representatives, and Honourable Faruk Lawan in Abuja. The visit which also included a visit to the Federal Ministry of Education was part of the activities to mark the Mother Language Day, where the team was received by Alhaji Bello Ozigis, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education on behalf of Hajiya Aisha Dukku Minister of State for Education.

Microsoft is working closely with the Linguistic Association of Nigeria and other advocates to complete work on the Language Interface Packs for the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages, which will be compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Word.

Hajiya Aisha, Honourable Minister of State for Education, is currently one of the championing forces behind the language program and presented the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba glossaries to stakeholders in Abuja last December.

According to Dr. Tunde Adegbola of Alt-i, who is the moderator of the localisation process in Nigeria, the Windows Interface Packs are on track to be released this May, and the Office Interface Packs are scheduled for release later in October.

Honourable Lawan while speaking at the day’s festivities on behalf of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, commended Microsoft for the continued efforts to grow a strong local IT industry and ensure that every citizen has fair and meaningful access to locally-relevant technology.

“Functional education and specialized training are the pre-requisites for a productive workforce, and good leaders. It is the only way to create a populace that is successful in all spheres of human life. All these cannot be achieved without understanding. This is the critical role that language plays. We are therefore committed to ensuring that everyone has access to functional education in language familiar to them. We commend Microsoft for the great initiative to bring technology to everyone through the Local Language Program,” Honourable Lawan said.

Microsoft’s Citizenship Lead for Nigeria, Jummai Umar-Ajijola added that governments around the world are facing a great challenge in today’s global economy – the need to quickly build a strong economy that can effectively participate in an increasingly-interconnected world.

“In an environment as diverse as Nigeria – with over 500 ethnic languages – the need to eliminate the language barrier around technology education is critical to the success of the efforts to bridge the digital divide.

“It is in the light of this need that Microsoft developed the Local Language Program to provide the tools and technologies required to develop, enhance, and expand local IT economies and to enable language groups of all sizes to participate in this growth,” she said.

Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Declare that all persons have the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue.

According to Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, director-general of UNESCO, “Languages do indeed matter in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which the United Nations agreed upon in 2000.

“They matter when we want to promote cultural diversity, and fight illiteracy, and they matter for quality education, including teaching in the mother language in the first years of schooling. They matter in the fight for greater social inclusion, for creativity, economic development and safeguarding indigenous knowledge.”

“We are very excited about the potential that Microsoft’s Local Language Program has for driving technology penetration in Nigeria,” Dr Adegbola added.

“This is a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to supporting the reform agenda of the present administration by transforming education and creating opportunities for local innovation. We are also delighted to be a part of this great project,” he said.

5%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0781810698&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000S0E8NW&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0781809789&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000PNNZMM&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0013YPWM8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0300071450&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr%%%%%%%FROM nairaland.com

Microsoft has completed work on glossaries for the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba translations of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.

By this, Microsoft Windows and the four applications in Microsoft Office 2007- Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Access, can easily be adapted to versions in the three languages.

The firm said a Language Interface Pack that would allow the applications to fully be available in the three languages was in the works and would be delivered in the coming months.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, presented the glossaries to stakeholders in Abuja on Wednesday, a development that Microsoft noted was one more landmark in its Local Language Program in Nigeria.

Currently, the LLP scheme is working on 101 languages in the world and five in the West Africa.

According to the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, the LLP is Microsoft’s response to the need to provide people of all regions, cultures and languages, with access to technology in a language that is familiar and which honours their cultural distinctions.

He said, “Learning a second language should not be a prerequisite for using technology. That is why we are working with governments and language authorities to translate our software and extend it to a broader set of users.

“Through the Local Language Program, we are giving our local communities the tools and resources they need to bridge the digital divide and create opportunities for economic advancement.”

At the presentation of the moderator of the localisation process in Nigeria, Dr. Tunde Adegbola of the African Languages Technology Institute, explained that the glossary and LIP would equip local information technology communities with the basic tools to create customised language solutions that promote economic growth and preserve local languages.

Developed from the glossary, the LIP is the application that connects the local language to the computer, through a native language desktop user interface.

When the process is completed, the LIP will be freely downloadable from the LLP website.

Local solutions can be developed on top of the LIPs, enabling the creation of localised products that enhance the value of each LIP and ensure the successful use of technology.

Adegbola urged the stakeholders to study the glossary, which was developed in collaboration with governments, universities, and language authorities to ensure that the standard technical terminologies had been translated correctly into the local languages.

The Minister of Education, Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, commended Microsoft for the initiative to eliminate the language barrier, which presented a serious challenge for teaching and learning technology at the grassroots.

She further outlined the national policy on education, which recognised the language of the environment as the first language of instruction for the first three years of education with English only taught as a subject.

From the fourth year, English language becomes the language of instruction, while the language of the environment and French are taught as subjects.

She said that with the LLP, teaching technology would be much easier.

The minister said, “There are so many skills we may not be able to transfer except in our local languages. This initiative by Microsoft is a first step for us to start thinking of how we can develop our languages further in order to grow our IT capacity.”

By eliminating the language barrier to technology education through the local language programme, Microsoft believes that many more people will be encouraged to use desktop software in Nigeria’s local communities, improving access to technology.

This will create new economic opportunities, and enriching people’s personal lives. The move will go a long way to bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing communities around the world.

It is expected that the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba language stakeholder groups will review the glossary and work with Microsoft to produce the final copy to move the LLP to the NEXT    level.&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
 FROM DAILYTRUST.COM

Microsoft launches Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo Vista

Microsoft Nigeria has launched a language interface pack for Windows Vista in three major Nigerian languages; Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo as part of its Local Language Programme (LLP).

Launching the pack tagged, “LLP GO-live,” President Umaru Yar’adua who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Alhassan Bako Zaku said the event is a turning point in the history of technology in the country.  He said, “The initiative is a long awaited vehicle to take the benefits of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the people at the grassroots in every nook and corner of the country. We truly believe that this will make IT solutions more accessible to the Nigerian community. It also represents a breakthrough for Nigerian linguistic and literary studies.”
He called on the people to take advantage of the huge opportunity of the language software to preserve and promote our mother languages while benefiting from continuing IT advancements.
Speaking, the General Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje said the LLP has created a platform for Nigerians to embrace the now localized process to ensure that more of our over 500 indigenous languages are preserved by translating technology into them.
He said the translation of Microsoft Office in the three languages will be available later this year adding that when it becomes available, it will mean that Nigerians can access the productivity applications including Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint in familiar languages.
 He said, “Indeed this is a momentous event for our nation. With the availability of the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages interface packs for Microsoft Windows Vista and the Microsoft Office 2007 to come later this year, we finally have a platform that allows a higher critical mass of Nigerian access to technology.”  
He explained that the language interface software packs were created by Nigerians (their partners) living in the country.
“We need to move from being consumers to developers. We ensured that this process was localized. The tools are freely available for us to embrace and celebrate our diversity .
Others can now take these tools and develop new applications based on the existing platform,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, of African Languages Technology Initiative, said any language that does not provide the tool for intergenerational communication is set to die adding that with the LLP, we are at least assured that the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages will survive the next generation.
He said, “The diversity of languages spoken in Nigeria is a key element of our collective identity and is vital that we preserve these traditions while simultaneously equipping our citizens for success in the 21st century.”

OMOWE TUNDE ADEGBOLA IS SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE AND IGBO,HAUSA AND OTHER AFRICAN LANGUAGES BY WORKING WITH MICROSOFT TO DEVELOP WINDOWS IN THESE 3 NIGERIAN LANGUAGES!

March 3, 2011

http://yeyeolade.blogspot.com/2011/03/saving-yoruba-language-omowe-tunde.html

Thursday, March 03, 2011
SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE-OMOWE TUNDE ADEGBOLA IS IN THE FOREFRONT OF FIGHTING TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE-HERE HE DEVELOPED MICROSOFT SOFTWARE FOR YORUBA,IGBO AND HAUSA!
http://www.nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng/details.php?category=computing&id=1110

Wednesday April 2, 2003

Microsoft to Deliver Windows, Office in Major Nigerian Languages

Microsoft has announced that it will deliver Language Interface Packs that will soon make Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office packages more locally-relevant and easier to understand for Nigerian end users in commemoration of the International Mother Language Day in Nigeria.

The disclosure was made when Jummai Umar-Ajijola, citizenship manager for Microsoft Nigeria led a team of Microsoft partners to make a presentation to the Chairman, Education Committee, House of Representatives, and Honourable Faruk Lawan in Abuja. The visit which also included a visit to the Federal Ministry of Education was part of the activities to mark the Mother Language Day, where the team was received by Alhaji Bello Ozigis, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education on behalf of Hajiya Aisha Dukku Minister of State for Education.

Microsoft is working closely with the Linguistic Association of Nigeria and other advocates to complete work on the Language Interface Packs for the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages, which will be compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Word.

Hajiya Aisha, Honourable Minister of State for Education, is currently one of the championing forces behind the language program and presented the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba glossaries to stakeholders in Abuja last December.

According to Dr. Tunde Adegbola of Alt-i, who is the moderator of the localisation process in Nigeria, the Windows Interface Packs are on track to be released this May, and the Office Interface Packs are scheduled for release later in October.

Honourable Lawan while speaking at the day’s festivities on behalf of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, commended Microsoft for the continued efforts to grow a strong local IT industry and ensure that every citizen has fair and meaningful access to locally-relevant technology.

“Functional education and specialized training are the pre-requisites for a productive workforce, and good leaders. It is the only way to create a populace that is successful in all spheres of human life. All these cannot be achieved without understanding. This is the critical role that language plays. We are therefore committed to ensuring that everyone has access to functional education in language familiar to them. We commend Microsoft for the great initiative to bring technology to everyone through the Local Language Program,” Honourable Lawan said.

Microsoft’s Citizenship Lead for Nigeria, Jummai Umar-Ajijola added that governments around the world are facing a great challenge in today’s global economy – the need to quickly build a strong economy that can effectively participate in an increasingly-interconnected world.

“In an environment as diverse as Nigeria – with over 500 ethnic languages – the need to eliminate the language barrier around technology education is critical to the success of the efforts to bridge the digital divide.

“It is in the light of this need that Microsoft developed the Local Language Program to provide the tools and technologies required to develop, enhance, and expand local IT economies and to enable language groups of all sizes to participate in this growth,” she said.

Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Declare that all persons have the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue.

According to Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, director-general of UNESCO, “Languages do indeed matter in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which the United Nations agreed upon in 2000.

“They matter when we want to promote cultural diversity, and fight illiteracy, and they matter for quality education, including teaching in the mother language in the first years of schooling. They matter in the fight for greater social inclusion, for creativity, economic development and safeguarding indigenous knowledge.”

“We are very excited about the potential that Microsoft’s Local Language Program has for driving technology penetration in Nigeria,” Dr Adegbola added.

“This is a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to supporting the reform agenda of the present administration by transforming education and creating opportunities for local innovation. We are also delighted to be a part of this great project,” he said.

5%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%FROM nairaland.com

Microsoft has completed work on glossaries for the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba translations of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.

By this, Microsoft Windows and the four applications in Microsoft Office 2007- Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Access, can easily be adapted to versions in the three languages.

The firm said a Language Interface Pack that would allow the applications to fully be available in the three languages was in the works and would be delivered in the coming months.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, presented the glossaries to stakeholders in Abuja on Wednesday, a development that Microsoft noted was one more landmark in its Local Language Program in Nigeria.

Currently, the LLP scheme is working on 101 languages in the world and five in the West Africa.

According to the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, the LLP is Microsoft’s response to the need to provide people of all regions, cultures and languages, with access to technology in a language that is familiar and which honours their cultural distinctions.

He said, “Learning a second language should not be a prerequisite for using technology. That is why we are working with governments and language authorities to translate our software and extend it to a broader set of users.

“Through the Local Language Program, we are giving our local communities the tools and resources they need to bridge the digital divide and create opportunities for economic advancement.”

At the presentation of the moderator of the localisation process in Nigeria, Dr. Tunde Adegbola of the African Languages Technology Institute, explained that the glossary and LIP would equip local information technology communities with the basic tools to create customised language solutions that promote economic growth and preserve local languages.

Developed from the glossary, the LIP is the application that connects the local language to the computer, through a native language desktop user interface.

When the process is completed, the LIP will be freely downloadable from the LLP website.

Local solutions can be developed on top of the LIPs, enabling the creation of localised products that enhance the value of each LIP and ensure the successful use of technology.

Adegbola urged the stakeholders to study the glossary, which was developed in collaboration with governments, universities, and language authorities to ensure that the standard technical terminologies had been translated correctly into the local languages.

The Minister of Education, Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, commended Microsoft for the initiative to eliminate the language barrier, which presented a serious challenge for teaching and learning technology at the grassroots.

She further outlined the national policy on education, which recognised the language of the environment as the first language of instruction for the first three years of education with English only taught as a subject.

From the fourth year, English language becomes the language of instruction, while the language of the environment and French are taught as subjects.

She said that with the LLP, teaching technology would be much easier.

The minister said, “There are so many skills we may not be able to transfer except in our local languages. This initiative by Microsoft is a first step for us to start thinking of how we can develop our languages further in order to grow our IT capacity.”

By eliminating the language barrier to technology education through the local language programme, Microsoft believes that many more people will be encouraged to use desktop software in Nigeria’s local communities, improving access to technology.

This will create new economic opportunities, and enriching people’s personal lives. The move will go a long way to bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing communities around the world.

It is expected that the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba language stakeholder groups will review the glossary and work with Microsoft to produce the final copy to move the LLP to the NEXT level.&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
FROM DAILYTRUST.COM
Microsoft launches Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo Vista
Monday, 08 June 2009 02:00 Hamisu Muhammad & Sunday Williams
Microsoft Nigeria has launched a language interface pack for Windows Vista in three major Nigerian languages; Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo as part of its Local Language Programme (LLP).
Launching the pack tagged, “LLP GO-live,” President Umaru Yar’adua who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Alhassan Bako Zaku said the event is a turning point in the history of technology in the country. He said, “The initiative is a long awaited vehicle to take the benefits of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the people at the grassroots in every nook and corner of the country. We truly believe that this will make IT solutions more accessible to the Nigerian community. It also represents a breakthrough for Nigerian linguistic and literary studies.”
He called on the people to take advantage of the huge opportunity of the language software to preserve and promote our mother languages while benefiting from continuing IT advancements.
Speaking, the General Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje said the LLP has created a platform for Nigerians to embrace the now localized process to ensure that more of our over 500 indigenous languages are preserved by translating technology into them.
He said the translation of Microsoft Office in the three languages will be available later this year adding that when it becomes available, it will mean that Nigerians can access the productivity applications including Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint in familiar languages.
He said, “Indeed this is a momentous event for our nation. With the availability of the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages interface packs for Microsoft Windows Vista and the Microsoft Office 2007 to come later this year, we finally have a platform that allows a higher critical mass of Nigerian access to technology.”
He explained that the language interface software packs were created by Nigerians (their partners) living in the country.
“We need to move from being consumers to developers. We ensured that this process was localized. The tools are freely available for us to embrace and celebrate our diversity .
Others can now take these tools and develop new applications based on the existing platform,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, of African Languages Technology Initiative, said any language that does not provide the tool for intergenerational communication is set to die adding that with the LLP, we are at least assured that the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages will survive the next generation.
He said, “The diversity of languages spoken in Nigeria is a key element of our collective identity and is vital that we preserve these traditions while simultaneously equipping our citizens for success in the 21st century.”

>SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE-OMOWE TUNDE ADEGBOLA IS IN THE FOREFRONT OF FIGHTING TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE-HERE HE DEVELOPED MICROSOFT SOFTWARE FOR YORUBA,IGBO AND HAUSA!

March 3, 2011

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Wednesday April 2, 2003

Microsoft to Deliver Windows, Office in Major Nigerian Languages

Microsoft has announced that it will deliver Language Interface Packs that will soon make Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office packages more locally-relevant and easier to understand for Nigerian end users in commemoration of the International Mother Language Day in Nigeria.

The disclosure was made when Jummai Umar-Ajijola, citizenship manager for Microsoft Nigeria led a team of Microsoft partners to make a presentation to the Chairman, Education Committee, House of Representatives, and Honourable Faruk Lawan in Abuja. The visit which also included a visit to the Federal Ministry of Education was part of the activities to mark the Mother Language Day, where the team was received by Alhaji Bello Ozigis, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education on behalf of Hajiya Aisha Dukku Minister of State for Education.

Microsoft is working closely with the Linguistic Association of Nigeria and other advocates to complete work on the Language Interface Packs for the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages, which will be compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Word.

Hajiya Aisha, Honourable Minister of State for Education, is currently one of the championing forces behind the language program and presented the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba glossaries to stakeholders in Abuja last December.

According to Dr. Tunde Adegbola of Alt-i, who is the moderator of the localisation process in Nigeria, the Windows Interface Packs are on track to be released this May, and the Office Interface Packs are scheduled for release later in October.

Honourable Lawan while speaking at the day’s festivities on behalf of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, commended Microsoft for the continued efforts to grow a strong local IT industry and ensure that every citizen has fair and meaningful access to locally-relevant technology.

“Functional education and specialized training are the pre-requisites for a productive workforce, and good leaders. It is the only way to create a populace that is successful in all spheres of human life. All these cannot be achieved without understanding. This is the critical role that language plays. We are therefore committed to ensuring that everyone has access to functional education in language familiar to them. We commend Microsoft for the great initiative to bring technology to everyone through the Local Language Program,” Honourable Lawan said.

Microsoft’s Citizenship Lead for Nigeria, Jummai Umar-Ajijola added that governments around the world are facing a great challenge in today’s global economy – the need to quickly build a strong economy that can effectively participate in an increasingly-interconnected world.

“In an environment as diverse as Nigeria – with over 500 ethnic languages – the need to eliminate the language barrier around technology education is critical to the success of the efforts to bridge the digital divide.

“It is in the light of this need that Microsoft developed the Local Language Program to provide the tools and technologies required to develop, enhance, and expand local IT economies and to enable language groups of all sizes to participate in this growth,” she said.

Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Declare that all persons have the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue.

According to Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, director-general of UNESCO, “Languages do indeed matter in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which the United Nations agreed upon in 2000.

“They matter when we want to promote cultural diversity, and fight illiteracy, and they matter for quality education, including teaching in the mother language in the first years of schooling. They matter in the fight for greater social inclusion, for creativity, economic development and safeguarding indigenous knowledge.”

“We are very excited about the potential that Microsoft’s Local Language Program has for driving technology penetration in Nigeria,” Dr Adegbola added.

“This is a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to supporting the reform agenda of the present administration by transforming education and creating opportunities for local innovation. We are also delighted to be a part of this great project,” he said.

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Microsoft has completed work on glossaries for the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba translations of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.

By this, Microsoft Windows and the four applications in Microsoft Office 2007- Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Access, can easily be adapted to versions in the three languages.

The firm said a Language Interface Pack that would allow the applications to fully be available in the three languages was in the works and would be delivered in the coming months.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, presented the glossaries to stakeholders in Abuja on Wednesday, a development that Microsoft noted was one more landmark in its Local Language Program in Nigeria.

Currently, the LLP scheme is working on 101 languages in the world and five in the West Africa.

According to the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, the LLP is Microsoft’s response to the need to provide people of all regions, cultures and languages, with access to technology in a language that is familiar and which honours their cultural distinctions.

He said, “Learning a second language should not be a prerequisite for using technology. That is why we are working with governments and language authorities to translate our software and extend it to a broader set of users.

“Through the Local Language Program, we are giving our local communities the tools and resources they need to bridge the digital divide and create opportunities for economic advancement.”

At the presentation of the moderator of the localisation process in Nigeria, Dr. Tunde Adegbola of the African Languages Technology Institute, explained that the glossary and LIP would equip local information technology communities with the basic tools to create customised language solutions that promote economic growth and preserve local languages.

Developed from the glossary, the LIP is the application that connects the local language to the computer, through a native language desktop user interface.

When the process is completed, the LIP will be freely downloadable from the LLP website.

Local solutions can be developed on top of the LIPs, enabling the creation of localised products that enhance the value of each LIP and ensure the successful use of technology.

Adegbola urged the stakeholders to study the glossary, which was developed in collaboration with governments, universities, and language authorities to ensure that the standard technical terminologies had been translated correctly into the local languages.

The Minister of Education, Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, commended Microsoft for the initiative to eliminate the language barrier, which presented a serious challenge for teaching and learning technology at the grassroots.

She further outlined the national policy on education, which recognised the language of the environment as the first language of instruction for the first three years of education with English only taught as a subject.

From the fourth year, English language becomes the language of instruction, while the language of the environment and French are taught as subjects.

She said that with the LLP, teaching technology would be much easier.

The minister said, “There are so many skills we may not be able to transfer except in our local languages. This initiative by Microsoft is a first step for us to start thinking of how we can develop our languages further in order to grow our IT capacity.”

By eliminating the language barrier to technology education through the local language programme, Microsoft believes that many more people will be encouraged to use desktop software in Nigeria’s local communities, improving access to technology.

This will create new economic opportunities, and enriching people’s personal lives. The move will go a long way to bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing communities around the world.

It is expected that the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba language stakeholder groups will review the glossary and work with Microsoft to produce the final copy to move the LLP to the NEXT    level.&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
 FROM DAILYTRUST.COM

Microsoft launches Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo Vista

Microsoft Nigeria has launched a language interface pack for Windows Vista in three major Nigerian languages; Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo as part of its Local Language Programme (LLP).

Launching the pack tagged, “LLP GO-live,” President Umaru Yar’adua who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Alhassan Bako Zaku said the event is a turning point in the history of technology in the country.  He said, “The initiative is a long awaited vehicle to take the benefits of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the people at the grassroots in every nook and corner of the country. We truly believe that this will make IT solutions more accessible to the Nigerian community. It also represents a breakthrough for Nigerian linguistic and literary studies.”
He called on the people to take advantage of the huge opportunity of the language software to preserve and promote our mother languages while benefiting from continuing IT advancements.
Speaking, the General Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje said the LLP has created a platform for Nigerians to embrace the now localized process to ensure that more of our over 500 indigenous languages are preserved by translating technology into them.
He said the translation of Microsoft Office in the three languages will be available later this year adding that when it becomes available, it will mean that Nigerians can access the productivity applications including Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint in familiar languages.
 He said, “Indeed this is a momentous event for our nation. With the availability of the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages interface packs for Microsoft Windows Vista and the Microsoft Office 2007 to come later this year, we finally have a platform that allows a higher critical mass of Nigerian access to technology.”  
He explained that the language interface software packs were created by Nigerians (their partners) living in the country.
“We need to move from being consumers to developers. We ensured that this process was localized. The tools are freely available for us to embrace and celebrate our diversity .
Others can now take these tools and develop new applications based on the existing platform,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, of African Languages Technology Initiative, said any language that does not provide the tool for intergenerational communication is set to die adding that with the LLP, we are at least assured that the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages will survive the next generation.
He said, “The diversity of languages spoken in Nigeria is a key element of our collective identity and is vital that we preserve these traditions while simultaneously equipping our citizens for success in the 21st century.”


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