Swahili makes history, now officially recognized by Twitter

Most African languages for the past decade and over of Twitter’s existence have been referred to as Indonesian. That has changed with Twitter’s official recognition of Swahili as a language.

The network now offers a translation of the widely spoken and written East and Southern African language.

Since last week, Twitter kickstarted detection of the language in tweets and subsequently offers a close to perfect translation as with other foreign languages.

Kenya Ministry of Sports and Heritage joined Twitter users to celebrate the feat. It, however, did not come easy as Kenyans – known to be vibrant on the platform staged protests with the hashtags #SwahiliIsNotIndonesian and #TwitterRecognizeSwahili.

But like all google translate efforts, some translations have fallen short of the import of what is meant. But for all it is worth, it positions Swahili as a fore runner in the area.

The language is spoken by over 50 million people and it serves as the national language of four East African nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and DR Congo.

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