At Tamajaq.com one of our main goals is the facilitation and promotion of print and online use of the Tamajaq (ttq) language. Currently Tamajaq language users find many limitations when trying to use the Tamajaq language online.
1) No substantial online dictionaries exist, neither a pure Tamajaq dictionary nor any significant bi-lingual dictionaries. This problem has subsidiary effects such as widely variant orthography being used.
2) Very few webpages written in Tamajaq, and even fewer multi-lingual websites that include Tamajaq.
3) There is no major software with a Tamajaq language spell checker. (No LibreOffice Tamajaq spell checker has yet been developed.)
4) No online translation software (for example Tamajaq is not supported in Google Translate).
5) No desktop nor online software with Tamajaq a language interface. (ex. LibreOffice does not have Tamajaq language support.)
6) Few easily downloadable ebooks in Tamajaq.
7) Currently downloadable keyboards for typing in Tamajaq require complicated key strokes that are not easy to understand. Simpler keyboards are available but only privately, not publicly.
6) No social media platforms currently provide Tamajaq language support.
7) Very few easily and affordable accessible printed books available in or about Tamajaq.
We at Tamajaq.com plan to start addressing some of these and other Tamajaq language usage problems by fostering cooperation among interested parties, and helping to coordinate efforts to achieve specific online usage goals.
Currently we are are focused on creating or making publicly available easier to use keyboards for typing in Tamajaq Latin script (ttq-Latn) and Tamajaq Shifinagh script (ttq-Tfng).
Several years ago we floated the idea of creating an open source Tamajaq dictionary. At that time we got limited response, but interest has been growing, and we are hopeful that a dictionary will not be too difficult to achieve in the foreseeable feature. Be sure to let us know if you are interested in helping.
To give you an idea about the challenges ahead on getting recognition on major platforms, let’s take Google Translate for an example. Here’s what Google Translate has to say about adding a new language to its platform:
Google Language Support for the Tamajaq (ttq) Language
Google is constantly working to add more languages and it doesn’t say what languages are being worked upon or when will these languages be added to the existing list. There are many factors that impact Google’s ability to support new languages, but here are some indicators for a strong candidate language:
- It’s a written language
- It’s actively used on the web together with translations into other languages (news articles, multilingual websites, books, government pages and so on)
- by “actively” Google means there are millions of translated words available
- Speakers of the languages are eager to partner with Google and offer their language expertise through Translate Community tasks
If you think the Tamajaq (ttq) language needs to be added to Google Translate, then send your feedback ( through – https://translate.google.com/ ) and explain why this language is required in your comments.