The Kiswahili Digital Rights Project
expanding digital rights vocabulary in Africa and communities around the world
How does it work?
The Kiswahili Digital Rights Project is a ground-breaking initiative to translate and popularize key terms in digital rights and technology into Kiswahili. The Kiswahili Language Translation Project brought together a team of experts from various universities and organizations in a series of virtual conversations and workshops to provide translations for key words in digital vocabulary in Kiswahili. The team provided either one to one translation, or conceptual translation for a variety of key terms in technology and digital rights with the hope of enabling Kiswahili speaking communities across the globe to fully participate in conversations about technology. The final translations are freely available for download and circulation here.
Why is it needed?
We noticed that digital rights activists in the region were struggling because the pace of developments in the space was dramatically outpacing the translation of key terms. How do you say ‘surveillance’ in Kiswahili? How do you say “data privacy”? Until recently, there were no words for this, and this project aims to provide them.
How does it improve life?
This project aims at creating and popularizing the vocabulary of technology and digital rights in Kiswahili. We are not only seeking to educate but also to show the possibilities that are created by the most widely spoken African language in the world. Ultimately, we are working towards a future where Kiswahili language communities will become a key contributor to discussions in global technology.