Friday, April 14, 2006

Practical example: Showcasing your work

During the tech forum in Kumasi participants had the opportunity to showcase some of their work. One example was kasahorow, an open source site which helps translate Akan (Fanti and Twi) and Ewe languages into English. People are invited to help enter data. The example was given that in Ga language there is no direct translation for he word quarter, so the site also works to foster agreement on translations. It reminded me of the sessions with had with our community workers in Mali- translating French into Bambara- they always wanted a lot of time to discuss translations of various terms before going to talk to the people in the communities because they were very unsure of how to translate the french concepts.

Besides being impressed by all that's being developed, it struck me again how communities of practice can provide a space to share and discuss what you're working on and how your working on it, so that others get inspired, and the case owners get some admiration. On top of that, there was really interesting feedback for the developers of the site; people were questioning the need to register first (looks like that is changed already?), and tips like the existence of organisations like the Institute for Languages, which does not know about software, but knows a lot about languages. Though this sounds obvious, it is something which had not yet occurred to the developers. It can improve the quality and usefulness of the work.

I'll refrain from entering my Fanti translations to Kasahorow- I'm still frustrated that my Fanti teacher used to add -oh to an english word and then claim that that was pure Fanti (like office-oh, computer-oh, and bye-bye-oh).

In the next post I'll talk more on my reflection about the meeting. If you want to know the meaning of Kasahorow, you can check it out here

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