The UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger database reports that hundreds of African languages are under a threat. This is a shock considering the fact that the continent has an estimated number of over 2000 different spoken languages, which makes it the most linguistically diverse continent in the world.
Realising the importance of maintaining a diversified world in terms of language and culture, Zivo Learning is a startup that prides itself on being a premier tool for learning African languages. The startup develops language learning & translation tools to break language barriers, using technology as an instrument for cultural preservation on the African continent.
The company’s main products are the Zivo App (Free Language Learning app), Zivo Translate (Translation Marketplace) & Zivo Testing Center (Language Certification).
“Our business model relies on building a critical mass of users in our free language learning app, we then monetize users by offering language certification services to those who want to validate their language skills & offering translation services with the help of certified translators,” explains Greg Kawere, CEO and founder of Zivo Learning.
Zivo Learning was also one of 11 South African startups that pitched at DEMO Africa 2016, where they were given an opportunity to pitch their startup ideas to investors, potential partners, and future business clients.
“Africa is an emerging economy that presents lots of opportunities for companies, but Africa is also home to more than 2,000 languages, so doing business in Africa requires multi-lingual content. There is also a drive by many African countries to localise content, both for learning and product information in indigenous languages,” adds Kawere.
Zivo’s Translate app can be used to translate documents from English to over 100 African languages. The mobile application is available for free download on all Android phones and users can also use the translation service by visiting their website. It’s as easy as creating an account, uploading a document and choosing the language of translation.
Their services can be used by anyone, anywhere in the world. It is not only promoting African languages to African people, but it also gives people all over the world a chance to learn the continent’s diverse languages. What makes Zivo different from any other translation service is that each document is translated with the help of native speakers from each culture/tribe.
Within the next year, the startup plans on becoming the world’s largest African language technology platform, with spellcheckers, word translators, grammar tools and natural language processors.