10 May 2018

Africa: Swahili First African Language to Get Twitter Recognition

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Twitter users around the world will soon be able to read tweets posted in Swahili, the most spoken language in East and some parts of central Africa.

This is after the social media platform recognised the language and enabled its translation.

It comes after blitz campaigns on the social networking site, led by Kenyans, using hashtags #SwahiliIsNotIndonesian and #TwitterRecognizeSwahili.

Previously tweets in Swahili were recognised as Indonesian and translated into unintelligible language.

Swahili now becomes the first African language to get Twitter recognition.

Twitter only supports 34 languages, none of which has been African.

Most tweets in native African languages are recognised as Indonesian, a situation that has led to an online campaign aimed at pushing for the recognition of African languages with the hashtag #AfricanLanguagesMatter and #AfricanLanguagesDay.

Swahili is an official language in Kenya and Tanzania and widely spoken in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Comoros Islands.

Plans are underway to make it an official language in all East African Community member states.

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