Yoruba Name Dictionary folks have a message for everyone. They are trying to build a Text To Speech application for Yoruba. . To have a chance at survival in the coming years , minority languages must cross the technology barrier and be just as easy to access or use as English for example in games, apps, and other tech applications. Though the TTS application is still in the making, OkayAfrica has already tagged it Siri for Yoruba
Its great that at this time lots of different bubbles of clever people are focusing on hoisting Yoruba language over the technology barrier.
Yoruba Heritage Consortium is another group that’s working very hard translating scientific terms into Yoruba language, they are also looking at reviewing the alphabet we use currently. It’s not the most suitable for accommodating our intonations. For example if I write ogun, I could mean twenty, war, iron, sweat , medicine or stab. Without the intonation many words have multiple meanings. A different alphabet would mean that it’s immediately clear what each word means without using accents.
Facebook user Olobe Yoyon is a champion of this
In other areas Yoruba language apps being used to teach toddlers the basics, and the Latin America folks are not being left behind either. They are learning Yoruba at a fast rate and also pitching in to keep it alive.
Orisha Image posted this video some weeks ago, comparing liturgical Lucumi Yoruba words with Homeland Yoruba words and showcasing the similarities
More recently, Here’s a video of Ariwo Ko by Adekunle Gold being sung by Greek-German Niki Tall find out about him here
So what are you doing to help further the reach of our beautiful language? Here’s Yoruba Name Dictionary’s email about their TTS Fundraising appeal. They have 17 days left to go
“Have you heard about our fundraising drive for TTS-Yorùbá?
Since the middle of March 2017, we have been crowdfunding our latest project: a Text To Speech (TTS) Application for Yorùbá. Think of it, as the good folks at OkayAfrica imagined it, as a Siri for Yorùbá.
The reason we are trying to create this includes, among other things:
Finally achieving the audio functionality for the YorubaName dictionary you’ve known and loved.
Showing that Yorùbá is capable of working well with technology, by empowering users to generate audio from text input.
Helping prevent Yorùbá from extinction by removing the barrier of technology to its survival in the 21st century.
A recent article in the Washington Post examines the role technology is playing in excluding minority languages, and how projects of this nature can help. Instead of complaining, we are choosing instead to be proactive. If it can work for Yorùbá, it can also work for Igbo, or Fulfude, or Berom, etc.
In short, our ambition is big, but we’re starting small. We are now 17 days to the end of the fundraising exercise and we’re still at 34% of goal.
So, this email is to remind you, if you’d hoped to give to the cause, to kindly do it now. No amount is too small. We hope to meet 100% of the fundraising goal. But even if we don’t, we still hope to create something, with whatever the money raised can create, to keep Yorùbá (and other African languages) relevant in technology.”
I know this young man , not personally, but I follow him and he is one determined fellow. He will achieve this whether we donate or not but how wonderful to do our bit and know we helped birth something as impactful as this for our heritage and future generations. You can’t complain about vanishing Yoruba language again if you don’t join in now o. Even £1 will do something. Do your bit today.