This week we documented our findings about what popular apps and operating systems are available in Kartuli, and to what extent. The result was pretty good, but we identified two ways we could help, by showing Kartuli speakers how they can contribute to Chrome and Android localization.
We found out that because of how Google localizes Android, contributing translations for minority languages is extremely time consuming for the Android team, which means they wont be able to accept our help, not for Kartuli, not for Migmaq.
On the other hand, Chromium translations are managed using Launchpad and it is entirely possible to help out. Esma began contributing reviews and novel translations, we are waiting news to find out if she was successful!
After meeting some local software developers we found that
- Many technical words are simply transliterations of English into Kartuli, and
- Many iPhone users don’t have a Georgian keyboard, as a consequence roughly 5% of comments on Facebook are in romanized Kartuli.
- The most popular browser in Georgia (in Batumi, and the villages which are who we are able to ask) is actually Chrome!
- Georgians go to school 100% in Kartuli, even during the USSR times. They have a very very high fluency in their native alphabet and reading in general.
This meant if we built a Chrome Extension which can transform all English letters into their Kartuli equivalent, then Georgians who aren’t entirely fluent with the English alphabet can read more content on the web. So far it seems to work great for Facebook, and for Google plus, but it can also be used on any web page!
After talking with members of the TLG volunteers (Teach Learn Georgia) when they come down from the mountains for the weekend, it looks like older volunteers (August 2013) could share what they have learned in the field with newer volunteers (March 2014) using our open source code base called “Learn X” which makes it possible to create an Android App that one or many users can use to create their own language learning lessons together using their Androids to take video, picture or record audio, backed by the FieldDB infrastructure for offline sync. Like heritage learners, TLG volunteers spend their time surrounded with the language and can understand more than they can speak, and what they speak about is highly dependent on their families and what their family speaks about most.
Installer on Google Play
Open-sourced on GitHub