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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Africa is experiencing immense growth in the use of information technology (IT). Studies of this “Digital Revolution” have tended to focus on social and economic development issues, while lately also studies on the use of African languages on the Internet and in mobile telephony have emerged. Of particular interest is the use of African languages in written electronic communication: does IT increase the marginalization of African languages or does it create a space for their blossoming? This question will be examined in the chapter, considering the extension and the nature of the use of African languages in communication mediated by IT, like websites and electronic discussion forums, emails, instant messaging, social networking sites, and text messages. The technological dimensions related to writing systems, different efforts aiming at the standardization of keyboards, and the translation of software will also be discussed.

Keywords: IT, Internet, mobile telephony, writing, keyboard

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