Use of Latin and Native Languages on the Internet South School on Internet Governance

28 September 2011 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Nairobi, Kenya

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Full Session Transcript

September 28, 2011 - 11:00AM

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The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

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>> OLGA CAVALLI:  Hi everyone.  Welcome to our workshop.  It will be mainly held in Spanish.  That's the idea.  I am so sorry.  But what we can do is I can translate if you need some explanation of the specific issue.  The idea is to generate a space in Spanish to the IGF.  We have been holding this workshop for awhile and it has grown in content.  Welcome everyone, remote and local.  My name is Olga Cavalli.  And I started this workshop like four years ago after doing research work of generating Spanish content in Wikipedia with my students and my language that I love.  I realized that the content in Spanish and in Latin languages and also in Native American language is quite low.  So that's a big barrier for many of our people that don't speak other languages, like English or others.  So we decided to create this space in the IGF to promote the use and the creation of content in Spanish, in Portuguese.  We have Vanessa, that she is doing amazing work in creating content in Brazil.  She has joined us for several years and we have other friends as panelists.  I will briefly name them.  Some are with us and some are remote.  We have by myself my friend Ricardo Pedraza Barrios and remote we have Vanessa Fusco Nogueira Simoes and we have Nacho Amadoz from .cat in Barcelona, in Spain.  He is remote participating.  And we have Jesus Jimenez Segura from the Institute of Cervantes in Spain.  And we have Gorka Orueta and we have Adrian Carballo and myself Olga Cavalli.  And am I forgetting someone?  No.  That's okay.  I will have some friends, Fatima, other friends in the room.  Thank you for joining us.  I will switch to Spanish.  (Speaking in Spanish)    

  >> JESUS JIMENEZ SEGURA:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

  >> JESUS JIMENEZ SEGURA:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 
    (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish)
  (Laughter).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

  >> JESUS JIMENEZ SEGURA:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish).  I can share my desktop. 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> NACHO AMADOZ:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> VANESSA FUSCO NOGUERIA SIMOES:  (Speaking in Portuguese).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> VANESSA FUSCO NOGUERIA SIMOES:  (Speaking in Portuguese). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> VANESSA FUSCO NOGUERIA SIMOES:  (Speaking in Portuguese). 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> VANESSA FUSCO NOGUERIA SIMOES:  (Speaking in Portuguese).  The use of Latin and Native American language.  (Speaking in Portuguese). 
    (Lost audio)
    (Reconnecting).

   >> VANESSA FUSCO NOGUERIA SIMOES:  (Speaking in Portuguese).  International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  (Speaking in Portuguese).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> (Off microphone).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish). 

   >> RICARDO PEDRAZA BARRIOS:  (Speaking in Spanish).  So as I told you let me bring an international perspective to this discussion of preserving native languages.  I have been this year really on to participate at a Pacific Island IGF in new Caledonia and at the Caribbean IGF in Trinidad.  I am pleased to see Sala from Fiji and Tricia attending this session today.  But let me bring us back to the Pacific Island.  There are over 20 to 30,000 islands scattered through the Pacific Ocean.  And these islands are traditionally grouped in what we call ‑‑ well, we call Oceania and there is three; Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia and other group in these thousands of islands to over countries and territories. 
    And what is really interesting to see and let me share my experience when I was attending the Pacific island IGF is that I started to talk to different people among the audience.  Each time I ask well, where did you come from.  They say well, I come from Fauna.  I come from America.  I come from this island, this other.  I ask well, how many people do you have there.  What's the population.  I say well, 10,000, 100 depending on the size.  How many languages do you speak.  There were from a dozen to hundreds of different languages.  And was what?  Maybe I am not hearing well. 
    You said it was 100 different languages?  Yes.  100 different languages for 100,000 habitants, yes.  That raised my curiosity and interest to understand better the historical and social living there. 
    And the language, in fact, have been passed down orally through years and years.  They journey in from Africa through Asia and finally they get to the Pacific Ocean.  And what you have the opportunity ‑‑ have the opportunity to see these ‑‑ the people which got settled there in this islands are just wonderful. 
    They have a tremendous and extraordinary love for nature.  A sense of caring of each other, that is just I believe an example to the world and a tremendous also language richness.  And I really wondered and that's part of what I am bringing here to this scenario is that how much are ‑‑ they realize this is a richness.  It is not a weakness.  This is really a richness they have and it is completely different from any part ‑‑ other part of the world. 
    The challenge, one of the challenges is to keep it ‑‑ this linguistic value through the times.  I learned from some of the research I did with Sala's help that they have discovered that at some schools in some of these countries they don't allow to speak the kids in their native language.  They are forced in some way to speak their official languages.  And that's really sad.  Because the only way they have to learn and to preserve this native language is by talking and it starts to their parents' native language.  But at school they are not able to share that type of communication with their friends. 
    So that's something that I am not going to cover here, but maybe another challenge I want to bring to the table there is no local content, Internet content on these native languages.  Access to Internet becomes more critical than ever because there will be the perfect tool to preserve these native language and to share this knowledge and this richness that they have inherited through so many, many years. 
    I had the great opportunity last week to visit the Masai Mara park national reserve and you have for sure heard that it is amazing; it is just beautiful and it is ‑‑ again it is a part of the world that has been almost not touched by civilization.  And in fact, when I think about that and try to relate to this, this is a set of policies, of rules, and actions that has been taken to make that possible.  So preserve this beauty of the nature possible.  A question I want to share with you is why should it not be possible to do the same thing with this ancestral languages and that's my presentation.  Thanks so much. 

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  Thank you very much, Ricardo. 
   (Applause.)

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  That was very interesting.  And it is nice how this space is broadened because we started with Spanish and then Vanessa came with her ideas in Portuguese and Microsoft brought their ideas in Native American languages.  And now you bring this Pacific perspective.  So we are getting global with this idea and I like it very much.  And I like that Sala and her friend could follow us because I was so ashamed that you couldn't follow but you know I love you so much.  So we both share this feeling. 
    Should we switch to Spanish, Gorka, or are you fine with English?  Whatever you want.  This is a diverse space.  If you do it in Scala I will not follow you. 

   >> (Off microphone)
  (Laughter).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  But you have your right.

   >> GORKA ORUETA:  (Off microphone).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  Would you do it in English so Sala can follow you?  We are all bilingual.  How do you want to manage the powerpoint?  You want me to help you? 

   >> GORKA ORUETA:  That would be great.  Maybe.  So I will do ‑‑ well, my name is Gorka Orueta from the University of Basque Country that is in the north part of Spain.  And this is the first time that I have been doing like short presentation about language we speak that is not a Latin language.  It is a native language.  I will do a short presentation.  How we are getting in to Internet. 
    We are doing some really nice efforts and ‑‑ go ahead.  Just to know where we are, we are in Europe, in the north part of Spain between Spain and France.  So we are like 2,155,000 people in inhabitance.  6% of Spanish population.  But we share also language and culture with a huge community that went to the Americas on the 19th and 20th century, mostly to the United States but plenty of them in Argentina where it is really huge Basque community there, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba.  We see that 18 million people share Basque language or culture.  You may know many people that have the same last name.  The Basque language there is not just one.  There are five dialects and like 11 subdialects.  So the name of our language is Scala but you can read the name of the language.  It is said many different ways.  It depends on the part.  So that we are not just ‑‑ we are like a language but it is very rich because the dialects.  Okay? 
    About the numbers, how many people is getting to the Internet?  We are just on the average of the European Union.  So at least there is 66% of the people getting to the Internet.  But what is interesting here is to know which is the language, if they are using Basque to get in to the Internet and almost 23% uses Basque as the first language in the net.  Okay?  It is no less people for us. 
    The number of the Internet users has doubled in the last ten years.  And, of course, the biggest increase has been in young people.  So all the ‑‑ young people is the future for Internet usage.  So mainly looking for what information, cultural content and music.  Looking for web information.  In the Basque area we have a plan for the promotion and use of the Scala, the vitality of the Basque language.  Three strategic targets.  One is the transformative, is on the language that completes the teaching, the Basque language transfer with the family.  The social use where this plan includes the use of ICT, and also the Internet and the quality of the language, the preservation of the quality of the language.  But as we can see the information and communication technologies on the Internet is a cross‑cutting factor that affects the transfers in the social use and the equality of the language. 
    About the transference, the first ‑‑ we can go ahead.  Yep.  Yep.  Nope.  We move to ‑‑ yeah.  Another one.  Another.  (Speaking in Spanish).  No.  Okay.  Well, about the ‑‑ no.  You are moving forward.  You have to go back like three slides.  No.  Another one.  That's ‑‑ okay.  We got it. 
    So the transference completes the teaching and literacy and the transfer of language within the families.  What is interesting for us is how the promotion of the language in the schools are also in the literacy.  I put the icons just to know Escola or they click 2.0.  There are some languages that they use the kids in the learning process.  But also and they have developed many web portals that offer to learn the language on the Internet, like Cast Internet, Atorri, By & By.  That's a private company, Bolga.  There are so many experiences where people from all the world they can start learning Basque.  No, no. 
    Yep.  To improve the social use of the Basque there have been many campaigns and they have been translated the most popular web browsers to the Basque language but also use in ‑‑ use the ICT and the mobile phones because the mobile phones are becoming very useful devices of getting in to the Internet.  There is enrichment because the Basque original company because some mobile manufacturers, companies, but also ISP, Internet service and mobile providers, Movie Star, they offer these services in Basque language.  So that has been since three, four years ago.  Innovation and there are now many people can use their device in Basque language, that maybe for Spanish people it is something that is used well but in Basque has not been.  We can go ahead. 
    Yep.  And about the third target, the quality of the language, there have been developed many, many tools in Basque language like dictionaries, or dictionaries of terminology.  These are icons that are services that people can connect and use just to translate to make translation from Basque to English, to French, to Polish, to Russian.  And there are also more specific dictionaries or grammar checkers that we can use and I use them because I write, I teach in Basque language.  So there really ‑‑ it helps us a lot when we are writing, when we are using our language.  Now for many people in the Basque area that they work in Basque language we are using these kind of tools to preserve or to give the quality of the language we are using.  So it has been a really good step.  And the other one please. 
    And there are also and it has been developed or translated many software resources.  Many of them I think, I guess you recognize like the Messenger or the Word press for blogging or Open Office.  Windows Microsoft Office it is also in Basque language.  Or the Emola and the Internet Explorer.  The Android it is also being translated to Basque language.  So the 40s has been in a part supported by Basque Government but also a vibrant Internet community that uses the Basque and they do really huge job translating for, for example, the Open Office and all the free software, many free software programs.  And now like five folks have another one, they are available in Basque language to be used. 
    And since 2009 there is a foundation called Acqua Foundation that the aim of this foundation is to promote the use of Basque language on the Internet.  And those involved in the new project like the University of (inaudible) and town hall and the academy of the Basque language, they use ‑‑ focus on speaker in an open and participatory environment.  All the projects that they are doing they had as a first target the Basque ‑‑ the young Basque speaker because as we saw in the survey there are ‑‑ the more Internet users and they are digital natives.  They get all the new devices, all the new applications they learn.  They know how to use and sometimes it is not my case. 
  (Laughter).

   >> GORKA ORUETA:  So we can move again.  One of the fourth is the creation of content ‑‑ the development of content and also in the creative comments.  In the list of Wikipedia we can find in Basque language.  That it is in the 36th ranking with more than 100,000 articles.  It has been a really hard effort and it is growing up.  And to motivate the production of more articles, you can read in the ‑‑ down in the screen (speaking in Spanish) that means for articles made at university level.  It is the second edition.  The aim is to promote the production of articles in Basque language but with the university level.  I mean no articles that everybody can read.  We are in the 36th ranking of the ‑‑ in the list of Wikipedia. 

(Lost audio)
    (Reconnecting). 
        >> GORKA ORUETA:  And, of course, we should focus on the applications to reach the digital natives and right now it is social networks.  They wait to get young Internet users that already know Basque but they are not using Basque and through the social network we can enrich.  And, of course, another challenge that I think is important is adapt the language but all the content has been produced to the new forms of communications like social networks.  But also to new devices.  Now we are leaving the tablet area, too.  So we should adapt our contents to the new devices and the day before yesterday was the European day of the cultures.  And the day before yesterday there was announced that foundation that is working on Basque and new technologies.  They present like some five dictionaries for the iPhone and the Android.  So now we can use these kinds of tools that as I told you before they are really useful in iPhones and also in Android phones. 
    And to summarize with and to link what Nacho was ‑‑ one before.  And Nacho was talking about the .cat.  I think there is a huge community, Basque community and I think the new nld.eus to improve the use of the Basque on the Internet.  I had some word, a sentence that was from UNESCO that I can read it in Spanish.  (Speaking in Spanish). 
    I think that it is ‑‑ we are ‑‑ would like to thank Olga for the workshop because you are aware about that situation of many languages.  There are Latin and also our natives.  And that is good for me.  Well, we can finish.  (Speaking in Swahili).  That means thank you in Swahili. 
   (Applause.)

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  I totally agree with Gorka and Ricardo.  I think that Internet is fantastic for preserving these magnificent languages we have.  They are both rural and cultural.  So they can live together.  I like this workshop because I learn so much.  Every year I learn so much from you.  And last but not least I would like to give the floor to Andres.  The good thing about them is that they do other work in three languages.  So Andres, could you brief us a little bit because people are hungry.  Thank you for your patience.  I know you waited long for your speech.  But I think ‑‑ I like very much all the work that LACNIC does because it is multilingual, because in a region that is Spanish that's the main ruling language.  That's something important that you do for our community. 

   >> Andres:  I was going to speak in English because of the record because this is huge because you can check again the decision and what have been said.  But I think that speaking in Spanish is better in this content and in IGF where Spanish is minority.  And it is my native language.  So I will do that.  (Speaking in Spanish).

   >> OLGA CAVALLI:  (Speaking in Spanish).  Thank you very much, everyone.  Thanks to our remote participants.  They were great, all of them.  If Jesus, could you send us your presentation so we can share it with the people present and remote here in the room?  (Speaking in Spanish).  Thank you to our technicians, they work great.  We had some difficulties with putting things in shape but thank you very much.  (Speaking in Spanish). 
    (Session concluded)