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Facebook launches in Swahili language

Posted by Wonderful-Tricks

Social networking website Facebook has launched a Swahili version, which is aimed at reaching more than 110 million speakers of the language. A group of Swahili scholars launched this new website with the permission of the California-based internet firm. Facebook now exist in some 50 languages.

Interest in Facebook has grown over the past five years in East and Central Africa, where most Swahili-speakers live. Symon Wanda, one of the project initiators, told the BBC Network Africa programme they wanted to launch a Swahili version to safeguard the future of the language.

"The youth, the future generation, if you look at the biggest percentage of users on Facebook, they are the youth. They can easily navigate through when it's maybe a language they understand, which makes it easier to use the Swahili than to use the English," he said.

BBC's Ruth Nesoba, in Nairobi, said the Swahili site has already been on trial for some time and word has spread quickly. According to the project team monitoring the take-up, more than 60% of Facebook users in East Africa are already using the Swahili version.

The bulk of Swahili-speakers live in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique and the Indian Ocean islands.

Analysts say a Hausa version could be launched next in West Africa and Zulu for southern Africa. Facebook already exists in Afrikaans.


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