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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - OLPC


One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a project intending to distribute small laptop computers to children in schools. The project was begun at the MIT Media Lab under the leadership of Nicholas Negroponte, and continues in a separate non-profit.

The OLPC laptop is now formally called the "OLPC XO" (it was in the past referred to as the "$100 laptop" since that was the original design goal). Since it is intended for distribution in many countries of the world, multilingual support and localised interfaces and content are important facets of the OLPC project.

Website: http://laptop.org/
Wiki: http://wiki.laptop.org/


Note that the project is taking account of several African languages. The following have localisation projects on the Sugar Labs translation platform at http://translate.sugarlabs.org/ :
Afrikaans, Akan, Amharic, Arabic, Fulah, Hausa, Igbo, Malagasy, Songhai languages, Sotho, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu.

The OLPC wiki has pages on the following African languages (list is slightly different than the above, some pages are stubs):

Localisation issues


OLPC's plans in the 2000s to introduce laptops into several countries raised issues of localised content and interfaces. Amharic, which has a syllabic script, is supported using a SCIM IME. There are keyboard layouts and SCIM IMEs included on the XO for all modern writing systems except Mongolian. For the main languages of countries receiving the laptops, the keyboard files have been modified to handle the XO keyboard's key arrangement. Dvorak keyboards are provided for several languages, and also the left-handed and right-handed Dvorak keyboards. These one-handed keyboards are important for amputees, and also useful for those wtho like to type with one hand and mouse with the other.

Languages of Nigeria and neighboring countries of West Africa whose orthographies include extended characters are fully supported. XOs made for students speaking a language other than English will have a keyboard layout switching key, and keytops printed in the local writing system and Latin alphabet.

Discussions were ongoing as of 2007/11 and can be accessed here (need update):

Translation of interface

OLPC is using Pootle to localise the interface for the XO laptop. See the localisation work page at the Sugar Labs translation platform: http://translate.sugarlabs.org/

See also:

OLPC lists

OLPC runs several mailing lists indexed at http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/ . Some of those with specific relevance to localisation and/or Africa are:

Other references & links

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