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Abdou Diouf UNION LATINE For a Plural Latinity The peoples of the Romance languages have very diverse origins; however, they share the same linguistic heritage and the same system of historical, legal and cultural references. So it is natural that this family, as dispersed and broad as it is, should have an institution dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of the Latin worlds shared heritage and identities. Such action is particularly necessary at a time when the preservation of cultural diversity constitutes a major concern of the contemporary world.

http://www.unilat.org/ FOSTERING THE PRESENCE OF LANGUAGES IN CYBERSPACE BY JOS LUIS DICENTA General Secretary, Union Latine The Union Latine is an intergovernmental organization that was founded 57 years ago. Since then, it has been a leading proponent of culture (meetings, heritage, film festivals, exhibitions, etc.) and language.

Concretely, it has become a pioneer in the field of linguistics, particularly with regards to the measure of languages in cyberspace. It is currently one of the few entities worldwide devoted to this task, a task of undeniable importance given the parameters of our contemporary world. Cyberspace has become a real territory necessitating comprehensive understanding.

The Union Latine, eager to enrich the terminologies of Romance and other languages of its member countries, is contributing to the creation of networks, associations and other entities aiming to revitalize and modernize these languages.

Intercomprehension between Romance languages is another of the Union Latines pursuits, to which end it has organized meetings and trainings for trainers who it identifies as potential future advocates of this crucial field. Graduates of our programs will hopefully go on to facilitate understanding between countries.

Promoting policies to support language development is yet another objective of the Union Latine, which has helped create indicators to help orient policies in the language sector.

Through its support of Net.lang, the Union Latine strives to promote the modernization of all languages that do not have adequate online presence, by providing decision makers with a practical guide for making correct choices. We are committed to this project, and wish it great success.

Jos Luis Dicenta ANLOC The African Network for Localization ANLoc is an Africa wide network of researchers from academia, civil society and business. Partners from over nine African countries assist each other in addressing the needs of local languages. Our vision in ANLoc is that every African can participate in the digital age.

There are over a billion Africans and we want their voices to be heard.

http://www.africanlocalization.net/ IDRC / CRDI International Development Research Centre, Canada A key part of Canadas aid program since 1970, IDRC / CRDI supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. IDRC / CRDI also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most.

http://www.idrc.ca/ LANGUAGE UNLOCKS HUMAN POTENTIAL BY DWAYNE BAILEY Research Director, ANLoc The African Network for Localization ANLoc, pronounced Unlock chose its name because of the vast human potential locked out by monolingualism. It is thus exciting for us to be part of this book on multilingualism in cyberspace. Like all users of the internet we get excited by the latest developments on the internet and in the digital world, however we are even more excited when this happens for all languages.

ANLocs efforts and our support of this book are made possible by the International Development Research Centre, Canada (idrc / crdi) who have funded much of our work to empower African languages.

At ANLoc we have focused quite extensively on the technology aspect of multilingualism. In our work we have seen that many people shy away from multilingualism for fear of its technical complexity. The resultant monolingual content is usually thought of as the traditional English only website, but in Africa monolingualism appears in French, Portuguese and Arabic. Monolingualism chooses official languages while excluding national and minority languages.

Fixing broken monolingual technology can take some effort but weve found that many requirements are simple or almost effortless compared to the impact. As simple as adding characters to fonts, creating a keyboard or translating a piece of open source software. Thus allowing someone to write and read digital content. While those interventions have some level of technical expertise ANLoc has been able to empower others by taking on the technical burden and allowing language experts to do the rest.

With these interventions ANLoc has not changed the landscape, but weve eliminated a number of technical hurdles that prevented mother tongue speakers from participating in the digital age. With an empowered community the content of the internet can be shaped by mother tongue speakers. We have simply removed the technical obstacles put in place by the shortcomings of technology.

The future of a language is in the hands of people. This is as trued in the digital age as it has been in any age. Once those technical barriers have been removed a linguist or computer programmer cannot force people Dwayne Bailey to participate in the digital world. And fortunately it does not seem that many people need to be forced to Google, Facebook or Twitter. ANLoc has looked at this store of human potential and we worked hard to see how we could harness those human volunteers. Part of our work lead to web technology to allow community translation, resulted in community built ict terminology and resulted in Firefox in 10 African languages.

This trend of crowd sourced mother tongue information is a trend that is leading to vibrant community participation. Volunteers are translating software, social network sites, search engines, making spell checkers and translating Wikipedia articles. The digital age could potentially be the most vibrant for any language.

ANLoc helped tackle the technical challenges of multilingualism. We are excited about this book because it takes our message, and the messages of all of the contributors to this book, to policy makers showing that multilingualism is possible and powerful. With a selection of worldwide experts and the backing of Unesco we believe that this book can act as a catalyst to help policy makers move forward to the advantage of all humanity. To unlock the human potential limited by a monolingual world.

Dwayne Bailey MAAYA World Network for Linguistic Diversity Maaya is a multilateral network created to contribute to the development and promotion of linguistic diversity worldwide. In terms of the Bambara language, Maaya could mean the neologism humanitude. The Maaya Network was established following the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), in which the cultural and linguistic diversity in cyberspace was identified as a priority. Maaya was founded by the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), under the auspices of the African Union.

http://www.maayajo.org/ A BRIEF RETURN TO THE GENESIS OF NET.LANG BY DANIEL PRADO Executive Secretary, Maaya Network The book Net.lang that you currently have in hand, either in print or in digital version (in pdf or ePub format, or through direct online access) was designed and coordinated by the Maaya Network.

Maaya, the World Network for Linguistic Diversity, came into being during the World Summit on the Information Society (wsis). Its objectives focus on achieving a truly multilingual world, where each language, and the wealth of culture and knowledge contained within it, enjoys the right to citizenship, receives respect, and contributes to the expansion of shared knowledge. Such an objective certainly requires the mobilisation of individuals and associations, but it also must be taken into account by governments and institutions. With this in mind, Maaya undertook the collective writing of a book enabling all persons and organizations concerned to act to develop a multilingual cyberspace.

I am aware that cyberspace presents both a threat and an opportunity for multilingualism. A threat, because the most highly equipped languages, and those spoken in dominant states, impose themselves over others and are supported by the networks technicality. An opportunity, because cyberspaces accessibility and universality allows it to give voice to languages that have been unable to make themselves heard via other recording and knowledge dissemination tools. We believe that this ease of access, the internets ability to mobilise and coordinate many people, and its multimedia capabilities, will assure the rescue and revitalisation of minority languages.

Net.lang attempts to equip a concerned and informed public with the necessary analysis and methodology to extract the maximum benefit from the internet, to catalyse an equitable representation of languages.

Using simple, accessible language, this book strives for comprehensiveness alongside concision and clarity. It presents state-of-the-art thinking on its topic, alongside the desirable and necessary actions for usingn Information and Communication Technologies (icts) to promote linguistic diversity. Net.lang aims to address both content-oriented and technical topics as they relate to the presence of the worlds languages Daniel Prado in Information and Communication Technologies, especially online. It should thus show the issues of multilingualism in cyberspace.

The capacity to analyse, measure, and report on language status in cyberspace, in order to help define public policy, advocacy, revitalisation and cultural sharing, is a constant concern of the institutions that have joined the Maaya Network in completing this book. In the framework of a 2007 study on multilingualism in cyberspace, assigned to the Union Latine by Unesco, the former asked Marcel Diki-Kidiri to compose a special leaflet containing concrete strategies to provide all languages, even those considered poorly equipped or oral, with the tools necessary for online presence. The resulting study, How to ensure a languages presence in cyberspace 1, quickly became a reference point, summarising in only a few pages the essential steps for enabling a language to embark on the digital path.

With technologys rapid evolution and the internetswift development as a geopolitical and cultural player, it became a pressing issue to follow this work with a second that would give priority both to analysis and to a variety of perspectives. At the Bamako International Forum on Multilingualism (February 2009) organized on the initiative of the African Academy of Languages and the Maaya World Network for Linguistic Diversity, all within the framework of International Year of Languages, the recommendation was made to publish a didactic manual in several languages to educate the uninformed public about issues relating to the presence of languages in cyberspace 2.

One year later, Maaya, with support from Unesco and coordination from a first Scientific Committee 3, convened a meeting in Paris with twenty of the fields leading experts. The group sought to define the issues to be addressed and the experts to explicate them. This two-day seminar sketched out the framework and objectives, and assigned experts, reaching for representation from across the world, to ensure the best possible balance of gender and age, as well as cultural, political, and technical approaches.

1 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001497/149786f.pdf 2 http://www.acalan.org/eng/confeven/forum/plan_action.pdf 3 Consisting at the time of Daniel Prado (Union Latine), Louis Pouzin (Eurolinc), Marcel Diki-Kidiri (YSB Sng Association), Daniel Pimienta (Funredes) and Yoshiki Mikami (The Language Observatory).

Daniel Prado Daniel Prado Writing a book of this magnitude required the contribution of specific editorial knowledge, together with regular monitoring of the authors and translators, to say nothing of technical typographic and digital document development skills. For this reason, the Union Latine decided to solicit the expertise of C&F ditions. Nicolas Taffin and Herv Le Crosnier, together with Project Coordinator Laurent Vannini, with John Rosbottom and Laura Kraftowitz for editing English text and translation, and Kathleen Ponsard for graphic design and page layout, meet the challenge. They not only gave our vision a body, but also a title, image, depth and rigor that will make Net.lang a major work on language policy.

In addition to the institutional support provided by Unesco and the Union Latine, which led to the books genesis, Net.lang also benefited from the enthusiasm of ANLoc (African Network for Localization), in partnership with the International Development Research Centre, Canada (idrc / crdi) and the international organization La Francophonie.

The projects launch seminar also allowed us to reflect on what a collective book is. Is it simply a printed object, or rather, a collection of texts that insist on living, on being spread, and finding their own way in cyberspace While the printed version permits it to find a place in the library, assures its bibliographic representation, gives status and integrates its texts, the digital version emerges as the works essential element. Publishing a book above all means gathering writers, defining a coherent topic, and ensuring text readability and reader interest. The vehicle is then of no importance. For this reason, the book is available in multiple digital formats in addition to print.

A second problem we had to address was to define how many languages are necessary to render a book truly multilingual. Or rather, how the plasticity of a digital version allows us to start with two working languages, while opening the door to full or partial translations in all languages by all the structures involved. We chose French, the language of the publishers, as well as English, for obvious reasons. But our real goal is to see versions in multiple languages appear as quickly as possible.

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