You know how to read and write in your local language, but you have been unable to use or search for information on the web because all search engine tools are in English? Not anymore. A team of scientists and linguists from Makerere University and Rhodes University have developed the first ever Luganda search engine that will enable people to search for information on the web in Luganda, Uganda’s mostly used language.
People can now down a firefox free software for Luganda (www.mozilla.com) and be able to search for any information on the web in Luganda. The Luganda search engine was launched at Makerere University’s Faculty of Computing and Information Technology with a promise that other Ugandan languages will soon have their own search engines.
Prof. Venacious Baryamureba, the Dean of the Makerere’s Faculty of Computing and Information Technology says that other Ugandan languages will also get their search engines in order to enable people who don’t know English to be able to search and receive information on the world wide web.
The local language search engine software is a result of tiresome efforts of a team from the two universities led by Dr. Lorenzo Dalvit which used Luganda dictionary words to translate from English the search commands and prompts. Dr. Lorenzo who is the coordinator of SANTED (South African-Norway Tertiary Education Development) says through non-profit translation project Translate.org.za they are making indigenous African languages visible on the world wide web.
He described as a dream come true, saying by not being exposed to one’s own language in writing or computer technology, one begins to undermine a big part of one’s identity.