I have said so before, but my mother in law, in rural Ovambo, is much
more concerned about clean water, food (there are droughts in some
places, you know), education and health care, than about a computer or
whether there is a software that she can operate in Oshivambo when she
graduates from her cell phone.
In message <[log in to unmask]>, "Donald Z. Osborn" w
> Eberhard, Part of me says that your remarks are tongue in cheek, but
> I'll play along and respond all the same...
Oh, you read posts from me before :-)-O
> Quoting Dr Eberhard W Lisse <[log in to unmask]>:
> > Personally, I think that whoever can afford a PC can speak the language
> > required to operate it.
> > Especially in Africa.
> 1. By this logic, as I read it, English would still be the only
> language of software and the internet. No language options for those
> who might prefer their first or another language. No computer use for
> those who don't conform.
Personally I think we need French or German on the Internet as much as I
need a goitre. (But then I have taught for the RINAF project in
Dakar...) The protocols are written in English and if we speak one
language,we might actually communicate.
> 2. Why shouldn't one change - or more to the point, add to - the
> "language required to operate" PCs in order to facilitate options and
> wider use? The potential to do that is one of the advantages of the
It's not the language to operate a computer, it's bombasting having
localized an Open Source Software package. And then mentioning Afrikaans
in this context, which just achieves the opposite of what is being
boasted. (Besides the fact, that I speak a bit of it too :-)-O)
> 3. In Africa, it's more often not "whoever can afford [to buy] a PC,"
> but rather who can afford to pay the cybercafe fee.
In Africa, this is usually identical.
> 4. Considering "ICT4D" and community telecenter projects, is it then
> "whoever can walk through the door can speak the language required to
> operate [PCs]"?
No, but whoever can pay for the usage.
> 5. Computer systems are currently available in many languages (except
> for those of Africa), so which of them are you referring to?
I am quite sure that the Swedish and Norwegians have different health,
education, food and water problems from subsaharan Africa.
> 6. Assuming you meant English, I'll leave this subject with a funny
> but supposedly true quote attributed to Texas legislator (later
> governor) Miriam Ferguson in 1924: "If English was good enough for
> Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas."
If yhose childrn of Texas could only speak an English understandeable to
anoyne else :-)-O
> > And to boast that they translated something into Afrikaans under this
> > heading is plain rubbish.
> Why? (Sorry, but is such a dismissal anything more?)
PULEEZE! Now you are really going to try and compare this artifical
language created by commitee for the white minority of South Africa with
indigineous languages of sub-saharan Africa?
In message <[log in to unmask]>, "Roland H
. Alden" writes:
> > Personally, I think that whoever can afford a PC can speak=20
> > the language required to operate it.
> You may think so; but you could be wrong.
> I can "afford" to buy a computer that operates in Arabic, but I can't
> afford to set aside the time, and I probably will never have the
> skills, to learn Arabic.
Yes, but you can also afford to buy one that talks English. And your
children don't go to school under a tree, don't starve (but go the
burger joint tree tiems a week), don't get massacred by Cuban doctors,
don't get raped by horse militia or whatever attractions rural Africa
has in store for us this week.
> The ability to use a computer effectively can be a requirement for
> certain jobs; there are plenty of job-seekers who can't afford a
> computer, but, for them, the ability to use one is still important.
Yes, sure, but nothing of this applies to subsaharan Africa. The 60%
unemployed here in Namibia are all paining away for their computer.
> As the cost of accessing computers and information (which is the
> important factor, not the ability to actually own the computer) drops
> to something approaching $0, other barriers become important.
Indeed, but it dodn't drop to this here.
> Small steps count.
And you have spent much time in rural Africa?