porn - javhd - hentai

Namibian OSS workshop produces Kiswahili dictionary

By   |  March 19, 2004

Kiswahili speakers can now spellcheck documents in their own language. A group of developers taking part in the Africa Source joined forces – and resources – to develop the first-ever Kiswahili dictionary. The project, led by Jason Githeko of Kenya and\’s Dwayne Bailey produced the new dictionary in one of the training sessions during the conference.

The five day Africa Source conference, organised by Amsterdam-based NGO Tactical Technology Collective, has brought together a group of 60 of the best African open source developers from across the continent. More than 25 countries, including Benin, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, are represented at the workshop which is hoping to develop and improve relations between OSS developers on the continent.

According to Bailey, the inspiration for the Kiswahili dictionary came from Jason Githeko who approached him during the five-day workshop with a word list of more than 50 000 words. has over the past few years translated a range of open source software – including Mozilla and KDE – into local South African Languages as well as creating dictionaries and spellcheckers for the application. In January the team announced the release of an Afrikaans spellchecker. Bailey says, however, that the organisation has not previously worked wih languages from outside of South Africa.

Githeko says that he has been working towards creating a Kiswahili dictionary for more than five years. He says that when he started the project to create the dictionary in the late 1990s he approached Microsoft with the idea. The problem, he says, is that there wasn\’t a language id in the Microsoft system for Kiswahili and he ended up at a dead end. He continued to collect Kiswahili words, however, with a view to finding another avenue for creating a localised dictionary.

It wasn\’t until he met Bailey in Cape Town earlier this year and learned of the project that he felt that there was a possibility that he could use the wordlist he had accumulated to build the dictionary he was looking for.

During a series of workshops and a skills sharing session at the Africa Source gathering, Githeko and Bailey worked on cleaning up the wordlist and preparing it to create the Kiswahili dictionary. During one of the mid-week sessions the final dictionary was created and released to the world of users.

Githeko says he is extremely pleased to have a working Kiswahili dictionary even if it is a little rough at present. \”I have been working on this project for more than five years. And in the end creating the spellchecker took only a day.\”

For more on the Kiswahili dictionary visit or

Download the dictionary from:

Instructions on installing the dicionary can be found at:


2 Responses to “Namibian OSS workshop produces Kiswahili dictionary”

  1. Chris Bates
    March 31st, 2004 @ 12:00 am

    I wonder how good this dictionary is… I don\’t know how the spell checking code is structured or how flexible it is in open office, but swahili verbs especially tend to be made by prefixing several bound morphemes onto the stem. Since most indo-european languages have limited derivational morphology and generally add one suffix at most to verbs and nouns, I\’m wondering if the spell checking code is generalised enough to handle the very different structure of swahili well.

  2. era eriksson
    June 21st, 2004 @ 12:00 am

    I believe Lingsoft would have been first; this Finnish (sic) company produced a spelling checker and hyphenator for Microsoft Office for Kiswahili in 1999. Here\’s their announcement:

Comments are closed