Native language goes online (fwd)
Donald Z. Osborn
dzo at BISHARAT.NET
Sun Apr 4 23:40:05 UTC 2004
Phil, This is very interesting. As I look at this and some similar developments
re e-texts of various sorts in diverse (and less-represented on the web)
languages I think it may be very helpful to have some sort of "alliance" of
e-book/digital library/web-based materials efforts to coordinate, publicize,
Recently I was contacted by Michael Hart of the Gutenberg Project (
http://www.gutenberg.org/ ), and he's interested in e-books in different
languages such as those of Africa for their effort. I'm also in touch with John
Hutchison, one of the principals in the African Language Materials Archive (
http://www.aiys.org/aodl/public/access/alma_ebooks/index.php ), which is
another effort to get diverse material online.
It occurs that each of these efforts properly and functionally has its own
identity, but that each and all might benefit first from being more aware of
what each other is doing, and beyond that from being able to work together to
enhance both the general environment for their respective efforts and users'
experience with e-materials across diverse languages.
One analogy that comes to mind is the "alliances" that various groups of
airlines have set up in recent years. In a more or less similar way, perhaps
e-text efforts could connect, coordinate, and colearn while keeping their own
The first step would be to get projects aware of this perspective and find out
what sort of interest there might be. A coordinating agency to the extent
necessary might logically be the oldest and largest one, Gutenberg. A simple
communication mechanism to get it started might be a small e-mail working group
of interested parties.
Don Osborn, Ph.D. dzo at bisharat.net
*Bisharat! A language, technology & development initiative
*Bisharat! Initiative langues - technologie - développement
Quoting phil cash cash <cashcash at EMAIL.ARIZONA.EDU>:
> here is the link to Greenstone, a free digital library software, that
> was mentioned in the article below.
> phil cash cash
> UofA, ILAT
> > ----- Message from cashcash at EMAIL.ARIZONA.EDU ---------
> > Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2004 10:08:58 -0700
> > From: phil cash cash <cashcash at EMAIL.ARIZONA.EDU>
> > Reply-To: Indigenous Languages and Technology
> <ILAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU>
> > Subject: Native language goes online (fwd)
> > To: ILAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
> > Posted on: Sunday, April 4, 2004
> > http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Apr/04/ln/ln21a.html
> > Native language goes online
> > By Vicki Viotti
> > Advertiser Staff Writer
> > The word is out on Ulukau, an online digital library that's placing
> > Hawaiian vocabulary, and some literature, a click away from the
> > world.
> > The Bible, two Hawaiian-English dictionaries, a journal of archival
> > Hawaiian texts, a collection of Hawaiian-language newspapers and a
> > book
> > about Kamehameha are posted at Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic
> > Library
> > (ulukau.olelo.hawaii.edu/english.php). Its developers say there's
> > more
> > to come.
> > The dictionaries on the newly launched e-library, which in recent
> > weeks
> > has been getting well more than 10,000 hits a day, are by far its
> > most
> > popular element, the creators say. The site is posted in mirror-image
> > Hawaiian- and English-language versions: You switch back and forth
> > from
> > a link at the top of every page.
> > It's the brainchild of two parents: the Native Hawaiian Library, a
> > program of Alu Like Inc.; and the Hale Kuamo'o Center for Hawaiian
> > Language at the University of Hawai'i-Hilo.
> > And, continuing the family metaphor, it's a cousin of a similar Maori
> > e-library Â~W appropriate, given that Hawaiian and Maori are linguistic
> > kin.
> > A team at the University of Waikato in New Zealand five years ago
> > developed the free digital program Greenstone, the software that
> > underlies the university's Maori Language Newspaper Project, as well
> > as
> > Ulukau.
> > Stefan Boddie, one of the team members in New Zealand, remains on
> > call
> > as a consultant for Ulukau. He helps the Hawai'i staffers make their
> > own enhancements work with the base program, which Boddie said is
> > kept
> > very simple so that less-developed nations can use it on the kind of
> > computer system they have.
> > "One of the main goals was that it would be free and easy to run on
> > old
> > computers," Boddie said in a telephone interview, adding that digital
> > libraries can be saved on CDs for use in places where the Internet
> > isn't available.
> > But in Hawai'i, where computers are pretty slick and high-speed Net
> > access is popular, Greenstone can be upgraded with bells and whistles
> > developed to make Ulukau resonate better with the Hawaiian language.
> > For example, said Keola Donaghy, technology coordinator at the
> > UH-Hilo
> > language center, an add-on keypad on the page enables users of the
> > online dictionary to tap out Hawaiian diacritical marks Â~W the 'okina
> > and the kahako Â~W regardless of their own computer gear.
> > And, he said, the search mechanism will hunt for words that appear as
> > stand-alone entries as well as parts of other words Â~W a boon for
> > those
> > researching compound Hawaiian personal or place names, he said.
> > "It does an inclusive search," Donaghy said. "Say you were looking
> > for
> > the word ali'i. It could give you that and any word that contains the
> > word ali'i."
> > Some files are viewable directly through a Web link; others must be
> > downloaded as Adobe Acrobat files that can be opened later. There are
> > images stored online as well, so that the visitor can view the
> > archival
> > (sometimes handwritten) document as well as the searchable text.
> > Donaghy is one of those leading the Web site's team locally, along
> > with
> > Robert Stauffer of Alu Like, an organization that provides services
> > to
> > Native Hawaiians. Stauffer heads Alu Like's Legacy project, producing
> > Ka Ho'oilina, a journal of archival texts in Hawaiian that is one of
> > the publications posted at the e-library.
> > Because there are Hawaiian and English versions of all library
> > sections,
> > they have been able to tell that roughly half the hits have been
> > people
> > who understand Hawaiian but are doing research or just need a little
> > nudge.
> > "Besides giving you the definition, it gives you the spelling, with
> > the
> > marks," he said. "They may know the word, but they don't remember
> > where
> > the kahako is."
> > Ulukau can be used to produce compact discs of the content, but its
> > online edition can be kept up to date, Donaghy said.
> > "The beauty of doing it online is we can continually add to it and
> > not
> > have to produce new CDs," he said.
> > Coming in the next few months is a new section that will house
> > academic
> > papers written by current scholars and new titles, including the
> > Hawaiian-language version of "Kamehameha and his Warrior
> > Kekuhaupi'o,"
> > already on the site in English.
> > The hope is that the e-library can house treasures of Hawaiian
> > literature and new writings in one place, works that otherwise are
> > found in collections scattered throughout the Islands, said Kalena
> > Silva, director of the Hawaiian language college at UH-Hilo.
> > The name of the library, Ulukau, derives from "ulu kau," a term in
> > the
> > dictionary referring to supernatural interpretive powers that can be
> > divinely given to a person. The sharing of knowledge through
> > cyberspace
> > has the same sort of ethereal sense, Silva said.
> > "It really is otherworldly," he said.
> > "It's miraculous, when we think about it. People just wouldn't have
> > thought this would have been possible, even 10 years ago."
> > Reach Vicki Viotti at vviotti at honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8053.
> > ----- End message from cashcash at EMAIL.ARIZONA.EDU -----
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