LugandaICT Translations, a Ugandan based organization last week launched the first ever-indigenous local language software in Uganda, writes Esther Nakkazi. The software is in Luganda, a widely used dialect spoken by over 80 percent of the entire population and is available for download from the Internet. "We did not go for the deep Luganda because it is not comprehensively understood by the young generation who are the core users of the Internet. Most of the Luganda words used are slangs and can be understood by people from different areas,‰ said Ivan Mugabi from Linux solutions at the launch of the software. The software named Kayungirizi web browser‚ was launched by Johnson Nkuuhe, a Member of Parliament at the Nile Conference Center in Kampala.

The Managing Director of Linux Solutions James Lunghabo said it would be easier for local communities who speak Luganda to surf the Internet. They will not ask for any explanations since everything is explained in Luganda-the keyboard, commands and pop ups.Lughabo said users will be able to access information on health, agriculture, education and news from the ŒKayungirizi web browser‚, which can be, used in computers, that have windows, Linux of Unix operating systems.ICT experts said the more than 50 percent of Ugandans will be potential users of the product especially in the rural areas where there is a shortage of information and low literacy levels. ŒKayungirizi‚ will be extended into other local languages like Lunyankole, Lunyoro, Luo and Ateso. Research is underway.The initiative follows the South African translation of computer software into indigenous South African languages.