Monday, March 21, 2011

Indigenous Tweets: The fun side of Tweeting in Your own Language

The most frequently used languages in the world have so far pushed other minority languages down. Most of these frequently used languages happen to be those of the colonial masters. They tend to dominate day-to-day businesses as a result indigenous languages naturally hibernate.

Computer scientists and linguists are trying to revive and sustain those indigenous languages that are surviving. Currently, as a way of reviving and preserving them, we have seen a lot of localization projects sprouting in an effort to push the endangered languages into the computing world.

Chichewa page on IndeginousTweets.com
Localization efforts may not be effective enough unless communities themselves get involved in the process. In an effort to highlight the use of indigenous languages on the Internet, Prof. Kevin Scannell has developed IndigenousTweets.com which puts together statistics of “35 plus” indigenous languages that are being used on Twitter. Launched on St. Patrick's Day 2011, Indigenous Tweets uses data gathered by Scannell's web-crawling application, An Crúbadán, which identifies the details of minority languages being tweeted. According to a post on Indigenous Tweets Blog, the primary aim of indigenoustweets.com is to help build online language communities through Twitter.

Prof. Scannell hopes that the site will aid speakers of indigenous and minority languages to find each other in the vast sea of global languages like English and French that dominate Twitter. Clicking any of the language profiles on the list takes one to a page that lists tweeters in that language with other nice indicators. 

Beyond providing linguistic statistics, I feel Indigenous Tweets provides some new wave of social networking. People will find it more funny to tweet as much as possible in an effort to boot out friends and rank top on their language pages. I hope people will not be ashamed of tweeting in their indigenous languages. In the end, we will have more and more minority languages enjoying the cyber world just as the dominant languages do.

I love Indigenous Tweets from the start. I can see myself ranking low on  the Chichewa page. Now, I am thinking of switching from facebooking to tweeting so that I boot out the top tweeters in my language. Lol!

I hope that you too will enjoy tweeting in your language more than ever!

1 comment:

  1. This is all good. Why should we be using somebody else's language when we have our own?

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