HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN REVIVE NUBIAN LANGUAGE

On the occasion of the International Mother Tongue Language Day, which falls every year on February 21, and in light of the categorizing of the Nubian language in Egypt as one of the endangered indigenous language in Africa.

According to the Google-powered Endangered Languages project, Egypt Today spoke to Momen Talosh, the co-founder of the Nubi App which is considered a complete repository of the Nubian language and its related history.

“The App has been now downloaded 13,000 times and its content is being regularly updated.

It includes different and simple sentences that are used for dealing with daily situations,” Talosh told Egypt Today on Monday.

Launched back in February 2017, the Nubian App also contains a complete touristic guide of the most popular Nubian-styled cafes and restaurants; along with other easy lessons provided in the both dialects of the Nubian language – the Kinzi and the Visicci – through animated characters which bear original Nubian names.

 

Besides, the App also serves as a marketing platform for the Nubian vendors and homemade products manufacturers and makers.

“Our slogan is ‘We bring Al-Nuba to your fingertips’,” the 28-year-old programmer said, adding that he is currently collaborating with the Washington-based Nuba initiative to push for including the Nubian language in the globally-acknowledged languages in the Google Translate service and the keyboard options.

Nubian heritage and language are a fundamental part of Egypt’s history and cultural diversity. On the banks of the Nile, the indigenous Nubian created a well-established civilization that endured for hundreds of years, Talosh added.

The extinction of the language as Talosh put it is because of the compulsory displacement of Nubians around the time of the construction of the High Dam in Aswan back in 1922. The subsequent relocation of the ancestral Nubians in the big cities like Cairo and Alexandria caused the gradual erasure of the indigenous language.