• Breaking barriers

    Breaking barriers

    A digital platform that aims to translate more than 2 000 African languages has been launched.

    As reported by SciDev.net, 63% of sub-Saharan Africa’s rural population is unable to access global markets because of language challenges – a barrier that OBTranslate has been designed to overcome.

    According to OpenBinacle, the Germany-based company that created the platform, OBTranslate is an ‘online computer-assisted translation tool, neural machine translation and AI platform for African languages’. The platform curates ‘billions of tasks in order to learn and understand African languages, accent, translation and patterns’.

    It is hoped this will result in enabling more devices and machines to be able to offer communication options ‘in 2 000+ African languages and accents’. At a later point, it may even be integrated into social media tools such as WhatsApp.

    ‘OBTranslate can close communication gaps on the continent,’ says Emmanuel Gabriel, founder of OpenBinacle.

    The firm has received infrastructure worth US$100 000 from Amazon, Google and French cloud-computing company OVH.

    20 May 2019
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images