Most of us can relate to the struggle that comes with typing in your native language (besides English). It’s a constant battle, between you and the desktop’s spell-check, which eventually leads you to succumb and to rather type in English. With this in mind and in an effort to ensure that Nigerian languages don’t become extinct, Adebunmi Adeniran, has developed a keyboard specifically designed to support and enable typing in at least 12 Nigerian languages named Nailangs.
The keyboard is designed in a way that allows users to learn local Nigerian language with ease, applying correct signs and tones to give the user a meaningful experience. Nailangs is not only available on desktop computers but it can easily be downloaded using Google Playstore, iOS and Windows.
“The concept for NAILANGS started out of the desire to find a good working and stress free Yoruba keyboard to type in as using the characters in ‘insert’ mode was like living in the ice age,” explains the passionate linguist. “With NAILANGS keyboard, there is no need to switch from one computer to another because once it is downloaded, one is able to type in English and it can be made bilingual due to the nature of Nigerians who mostly speak more than one language.”
According to speech-language pathologist, Ana Paula G. Mumy, children with strong first language skills are more ready and able to learn a second language. In other words, it’s difficult to build a second language if the first language foundation is not established and supported while the second language is being learned. With this initiative, Adeniran also hopes to prevent local languages from being stripped away from natives- especially children.
“Coming back to Nigeria from the UK in the last one month has been an eye opener, while the children over there are itching to speak our languages, whether Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba, I find it very painful that I have to come to Nigeria and the children are not being taught our own language,” Adeniran added.
The continent needs more of these keyboards, promoting the use of African languages through technology! Well done to Adeniran for showing the world that it can be done.