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Technology | Culture - Arts

Seychelles Creole seeks a place in the Internet

HANA / afrol News, 4 November - The 20th edition of Festival Kreol ended this week in Seychelles with a strong warning from linguists that "if we want our language to survive we have to ensure its rightful place in the cyberspace." As in other Creole speaking nations, French and English are the most established languages for Seychellois using the Internet.

During the weeklong cultural event depicting the islands' heritage and tradition, academics from the Creole speaking nations met for a three-day linguistic conference under the theme "the future of Creole is in its functionality." At present it is evident that Creole has little use on the web.

"To ensure its propagation, a cyber-community for it will have to emerge gradually, whereby a group of people communicate in Creole using communication and information technologies," says the Chief Technology Officer from Reliant Unified Solution, Ronny Adonis.

Seychellois Creole has already got a standardised spelling system. Now what is needed, is to develop it further towards the Internet. "One way around this is to encourage a web culture amongst local businesses, whereby locally built web sites use Creole as a working language alongside French and English," remarks Jaya Nair from Space '95.

One of the key arguments hindering the spread of Creole in the Information Society is the adoption of technological jargons that have not been developed here. "We should support actions aimed at teaching Creole, in order to consolidate, or even to increase, the number of the people able to use it to communicate through ICTs," suggests George Thande from the local daily newspaper, 'The Seychelles Nation'.

The director of the Creole Institute, Penda Choppy says at the same time we need assistance at the international level to solve many technical problems such as the creation of software that will allow the browser to translate and read the content of any pages written in most underprivileged languages for example Creole.

The institute has indicated plans to create language courses in Creole by applying modern technologies such as multimedia support, CD-ROMs, books, the Web, etc. in support of systematic, targeted instruction in the language and its spelling.

"Once it has been educated, this community of Creole speakers will easily be able to use Creole to communicate on Internet, and it will be gradually transformed into a cyber community," suggests Mrs Choppy. "The aim must be to make any language a working language for it to stay alive," she added.

Story provided free by the Highway Africa News Agency

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