Of the 66% literate population in our country(India) only 5% can communicate in English. Thus, if a non-English speaker has to use the computer then (s)he will have to learn English. Scientific study has proven that a person learns best in the mother tongue. And with humanity moving into the digital age there is a huge necessity to ensure that this digital information is available in all the native languages.
Proprietary software companies do not invest sufficiently in localising their software interface to Indian languages as they do not find it sufficiently profitable in the short term. Free (as in Swatantra) software and their licenses allows for collaborative community contribution and thus the community has the freedom to protect its socio-political-economic-cultural interests by localising the software interface to the mother tongue.
Localisation of software goes beyond protecting linguistic interests. This process is necessary to protect and disseminate the knowledge that has been developed in the mother tongue over centuries and to ensure that the new age tools for developing the economy is available to non-English speakers. Knowledge-protection in a particular language ensures 'intellectual self-reliance' and this is the key to 'economic self-reliance'. The reason why English thrives is because it is key to generating a huge economy. Thus, if you can generate a sustaining localised economy that language is also protected.
The Swatantra Kannada Localisation Initiative was born out of this necessity, that is, to enable people to use Free Software in Kannada. The Initiative aims to involve the academic and intellectual community, cultural groups and every interested person to contribute to this noble endeavour. We offer technical support apart from coordinating this huge endeavour
If you are a Principal, Teacher or in a related position:You can help by
organising localisation sprints in your Institution at regular intervals.
If you are a student, youth: You can get your friends together and localise small files. This can also be done individually.
If you are a linguist:You can help by reviewing and thus enhancing the quality of translations.
If you are a philanthropist and would like to help speed up the process please feel free to contact the coordinator. We definitely appreciate all the support we can get.
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.
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