Swahili becomes the first African language to be recognised by Twitter

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May 8, 2018
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1 min read

Last month, frustrated by how African languages are unrecognised on social media platforms, Kenyans started a movement calling on Twitter to recognise Swahili -- their major indigenous language -- using the #SwahiliIsNotIndonesian and #TwitterRecognizeSwahili hashtags.

https://twitter.com/IamNjokiKelvin/status/987369313991618560

https://twitter.com/mboya_k/status/988337453361782784

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili is one of the most common African languages widely spoken in East and Central African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Congo.

The Twitter movement sprung from the #AfricanLanguageDay campaign launched by eNitiate, a Pan-African digital agency in February to encourage Africans to use their native languages on social media more frequently.

A few days ago, Twitter succumbed to the pressure and made Swahili the first African language to be recognised and translated on the platform.

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https://twitter.com/BrandKenya/status/993364169557729281

According to Bra Willy, founder of eNitiate, the translation from Swahili is still not 100%, however, it's a good start.

Hopefully, the days of African languages being recognised as Indonesian and Vietnamese would soon be over. I personally cannot wait to be able to translate tweets from our friends from South Africa.

I'm always open to new experiences.
I'm always open to new experiences.
I'm always open to new experiences.

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