Translate your postings into local African languages
Today I had the opportunity to speak with Jerry Opolot, a 24 yr. old developer living and working in Kampala.
He studied at the Makerere for three years before completing a six-month software engineering program. He says, ‘I am drawn to software because it gives me the tools to change the world. When you go into networks or systems admin you just end up doing the same old things. You won’t ever come up with something creative.’
He hopes to lend some of his experience to younger people still looking to get into the industry. He explains, ‘It is good to share your experience with other people and to help them get through whatever difficulties they are facing.’ He is considering applying as a mentor at the Makerere Faculty of Computing and ICT.
Through a BarCamp event organized on campus he saw Jonathan Gosier, founder of AppAfrica, give a presentation. He started following the AppAfrica.com blog and applied when he found out the incubator was looking for developers.
One of his first projects was putting together a
Translation Management App.
The original idea was to translate the AppAfrica blog into Luganda, Swahili, French and German. The application he built pulls out the English feeds (using Feedburner) and then displays them on the translation system. Jonathan then recruited people willing to log into the system and make a manual translation into one of the four languages.
I asked how this compares to Google Translate. Jerry explains, ‘There is nothing better than human translation. A human will reason out something before implementing it. This process adds a better context. Especially in languages Google doesn’t yet cover.’ Clearly this is an important service for languages too small for Google and other companies to care about.
He wants to develop the service further and will be looking at different ways he might improve the program.